Renewable energy and its future focus of discussion

Kaukauna Utilities' Badger Hydro power generating plant (WBAY photo)
Kaukauna Utilities' Badger Hydro power generating plant (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 13, 2018 at 4:27 PM CDT
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A push is underway to showcase renewable energy and how it benefits Wisconsin.

The Badger Hydroelectric plant in Kaukauna was the backdrop for a discussion about what the future of energy could be in the Badger State.

According to Scott Coenen with Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, "We happen to think it's probably going to look renewable. It's probably going to look a lot different than it does now."

While not a new technology, hydroelectric is not only one of the best renewable resources but also one of the most reliable. It's cost effective, too.

"We heard it today, here in Kaukauna at Badger Hydro, you guys have some of the cheapest power in the entire country, definitely some of the cheapest power in the state," adds Coenen.

It was less than a decade ago that state lawmakers made it a point to push more companies to use renewable energy. It's a program that's working.

State Sen. Rob Cowles adds, "Eight years ago we did the 10% requirement on utilities to have the 10% renewables of all different types. Now, what's happening is, it's cheap enough that the utilities are moving forward on their own and putting up solar and wind in some cases."

Companies reinvesting in themselves because of the benefits of renewable energy is leading to economic development and job creation. It's a trend that is only expected to continue as creating, producing and maintaining renewable energy, including wind and solar and hydro power-- will become more affordable than ever before.

"In the last ten years, we've seen the cost of wind fall 80%, we've seen the cost of solar fall almost a hundredfold, that's not going to stop and at some point those numbers are going to get so cheap and inexpensive for people that they're going to take a second look at solar, they're going to take a second look at wind power," says Coenen.