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- Gov. Jim Doyle, during visits to Green Bay and Madison, issued a call to action for increasing the state's production of renewable energy.
In what was billed as a "Declaration of Energy Independence," Doyle initiated a joint public-private effort to generate 25 percent of electricity and transportation fuel from renewable sources by 2025.
"America is facing an energy crisis," Doyle said at Virent Energy Systems
in Madison. "It's a crisis of affordability for middle-class families. It's a crisis for our national economy, and increasingly it's a crisis for our national security.
"I believe that here in Wisconsin we have an opportunity - and given our resources, we truly have an obligation - to provide leadership at this very critical time."
The comments were delivered to a crowd that filled the office lobby of Virent Energy Systems, a company that specializes in hydrogen energy production and research. Katie Nekola, energy program director for Clean Wisconsin
, an environmental advocacy organization, and representatives of the Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition
were on hand to lend their support for the initiative.
The effort also will involve supporting research and capturing 10 percent of the market share for the production of renewable energy sources by 2030. Doyle predicts that achieving this goal would bring $13.5 billion annually to Wisconsin's economy.Leveraging the "U"
Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System
, offered his support by identifying three UW campuses that will be moved "off the grid" and made energy independent within five years.
Reilly said university researchers and scientists will work with industry partners to develop solutions to some of the nation's most pressing energy problems, and help produce the next generation of applications in the biofuels arena.
Doyle highlighted a report from the Wisconsin Consortium on BioBased Industry
that offers specific recommendations for leveraging Wisconsin's agricultural, forestry, manufacturing, and life sciences sectors to serve as catalysts for what he called the state's "bioeconomy."
The report identifies eight key technologies that capture the bulk of biobased opportunities in Wisconsin, including biomass gasification, fermentation of six-carbon sugars and cellulosic biomass, and fiber composites manufacturing.
It recommends that the state work cooperatively with bioindustry producers to develop markets and focus on commercialization of "leapfrog" bioindustry technologies. It cites the UW's capabilities in plant genomics and plant biochemistry, and calls for continued investments to strengthen that capacity.
Doyle said that during his push to install more E85 pumps in gas stations across the state, he was stymied by "senseless action by the legislature to back away from the plan," but added that two new ethanol plants in the state will soon come online to double the state's current annual production of 180 million gallons.
E85 is the term for motor fuel blends of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 flexible fuel vehicles are designed to run on E85, gasoline, or any blend of the two.Related stories
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