Project Milwaukee

As we’ve heard on our Project Milwaukee series this week, Wisconsin utilities are required to generate 10 percent of their electrical power by renewable sources – such biomass, wind – and solar.  That last source has been harnessed for decades.  But only recently have its costs come down enough to make wider-spread use more appealing. 

Milwaukee Home to Green Energy Producers

Jun 12, 2013

According to a national study, the solar and wind industries account for 12,000 jobs in Wisconsin, including hundreds in Milwaukee.

Pew Charitable Trusts, 2009

What will determine which forms of clean energy - if any - take off in the future economy, and which will be relegated to the dust bin of once-promising ideas?

bcdixit, Flickr

As we've heard on our Project Milwaukee: Power Switch coverage, Wisconsin utilities are required to generate ten percent of their electricity from sustainable sources, such as solar, wind, or biomass.  They're standards that were created by the state legislature.

Michael Leland, Flickr

The regulatory body in Wisconsin charged with making sure utilities are meeting the state's sustainability mandate is the Public Service Commission.  

The majority of energy the U.S. produces comes from coal. The same holds true for Wisconsin. However, natural gas has been gaining, because producers have found a cheaper way to extract it, using sand.

greekgeek, Flickr

What is green energy's potential? It’s a question that’s being asked on a national scale - especially in the wake of some highly publicized missteps, such as the failure of the solar company Solyndra, which had significant funding from federal sources.

Susan Bence

From solar power to wind energy to biomass, natural gas, and more – sustainable energy is in the Wisconsin portfolio.

S Bence

Green energy captured interest decades ago - yet it remains a polarizing topic. Debate continues churning around how much wind and sun should figure into our energy supply. Fossil fuels – gas and oil and coal, still dominate.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence kicks off our Project Milwaukee: Power Switch series by exploring the “birth” of the renewable movement in Wisconsin. She unearthed some of its passion and serendipity – on a road trip to rural Portage County.

Reports examine green power's growth here and potential. We visit energy producers and users, capturing strong opinions.

Project Milwaukee: Power Switch Series & Forum

May 30, 2013

WUWM's latest Project Milwaukee series explores the growth of green energy in Wisconsin.

PROJECT MILWAUKEE: POWER SWITCH
The Promise and Reality of Green Energy in Wisconsin

LISTEN TO THE SERIES: JUNE 10 - 14
During Morning Edition and Lake Effect, WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect Producers will examine factors prompting interest in renewable energy, and how Wisconsin compares with the rest of the country.

The skills and employment gap is a complex problem. WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence set out on an equally complex path to discover how “green” jobs figure into the equation and how they might figure into the city’s future.

Susan Ruggles/ MATC

Our Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted forum recorded Tuesday evening at Milwaukee Area Technical College, included a 45-minute question and answer session between the audience and our six panel members, which we present here in its entirety.

Susan Ruggles/ MATC

All this week on WUWM, we've been trying to get to the heart of the so-called "skills gap" in Wisconsin - the divide between unemployed and underemployed workers and existing jobs in the region. It's a series we call Project Milwaukee: Help Wanted.

WUWM has been reporting this week on the disconnect between job seekers and job openings – a phenomenon known as the “skills gap.”

However, the barrier for some workers is not a lack of skills, but rather, transportation. Some worksites are not located on a bus line, so those positions might not work for people without a car. In other instances, job seekers have lost driving privileges.

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