RENEW on Solar

Solar Energy is Good for Wisconsin

Enough sun shines on Wisconsin rooftops to power current electricity needs at least two times over.

In Wisconsin we have a huge opportunity to harness the sun's energy to power our needs, instead of relying on out-of-state coal and natural gas.

Policies and programs are critical to expanding solar energy, and RENEW Wisconsin's efforts are critical to making solar energy work for Wisconsin.


Net Metering

Net metering is a policy by which solar customers receive fair credit for generating more power than they use in certain parts of the day and year. Net metering is similar to how rollover cell phone minutes work. Fair net metering policies are an important part of the payback rate for solar customers, and RENEW advocates for strong policies that protect clean energy customers in utility rate cases.

Community Solar Programs

Community solar programs allow individuals to "own" one or more solar panels amongst a much larger solar array. Vernon Electric Cooperative offered the first such program in Wisconsin, with 1,000 panels in a 305 kW project, which sold out in under a month!

Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin's statewide rebate program for citizens, businesses, nonprofits, and local governments to install energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy systems. Learn more about RENEW's work to ensure a strong Focus on Energy program here.

Solar Creates Jobs

With more and more Americans choosing solar for their home or business, demand for solar jobs is rising. As seen in the chart below, the solar industry employs a lot of people across the country! By focusing on increasing solar development, and making it more affordable and accessible for ordinary people, we can create even more jobs and strengthen our economy.

In Wisconsin, we are not taking advantage of solar's rapid job growth. In 2012, 70% of Wisconsin's electricity came from coal, oil, and natural gas--none of which we have in Wisconsin. Because we can't produce any of that here at home, we send $15.9 Billion out of state each year.

We do, however, have plenty of solar power ready and available now. Instead of sending jobs and investment out of state, we should take advantage of one of the nation's fastest growing industries by creating homegrown power here in Wisconsin, driving growth to our local businesses and employing Wisconsin workers.


Solar Benefits Everyone

A multitude of studies show that the benefits of solar outweigh the costs, and that in some cases solar customers are underpaid.

These studies, many of them independently conducted at the request of state regulators or legislatures, directly contradict utilities like We Energies that claim solar customers are being subsidized by non-solar customers.

  • Shining Rewards: The Value of Rooftop Solar Power for Consumers and Society by Environment America
  • PV Value Analysis For We Energies
  • Net Metering in Mississippi: Costs, Benefits, and Policy Considerations
  • Evaluation of Net Metering in Vermont: Conducted Pursuant to Act 125 of 2012
  • Maine Distributed Solar Valuation Study
  • Nevada Net Energy Metering Impacts Evaluation

  • Utility Scale Solar PV Projects in Wisconsin