• Jeremy Hargreaves

Achieving 100% Clean Energy in Wisconsin


The Achieving 100% Clean Energy in Wisconsin Report, produced by Evolved Energy Research (EER), GridLab, RENEW Wisconsin, and Clean Wisconsin, identifies strategies to rapidly draw down carbon emissions over the next three decades. The study uses EER’s analytical toolkit to demonstrate viable pathways for Wisconsin targeting clean electricity and net zero emissions by 2050.


Find the Achieving 100% Clean Energy in Wisconsin Technical Report and Summary Report here, as well as the companion study report from Cambridge Econometrics titled The Economic Impacts of Decarbonization in Wisconsin.


The state’s clean electricity target was established by Governor Evers’ Executive Order 38; Wisconsin does not have a corresponding economy-wide emissions target today. While this study’s primary focus is electricity infrastructure investment, the electric sector is so closely integrated into the rest of the economy that studying electricity decarbonization requires consideration of energy usage in other sectors, including the impact of electrification and new industrial electric loads. We therefore examined Wisconsin’s clean electricity target in the context of key drivers of electricity supply and demand: demand-side technology adoption, economy-wide emissions policy, and interconnection with neighboring states.


Highlight findings include:

  • Economy-wide emissions policy is far more cost effective per ton of carbon reduced than clean electricity policy alone. The study’s net zero emission scenario achieves four times the emissions reductions of a 100% clean electricity standard alone by 2050 but at similar total cost and with significantly higher health benefits.

  • Achieving net zero emissions in Wisconsin will transform the electricity sector. Electric loads grow by 166% and Wisconsin adds 31 GW of solar, 21 GW of wind, 7 GW of storage, 2 GW of electrolyzers, and 3 GW of dual fuel boilers by 2050. This is supported by significant expansion of transmission to surrounding states.

  • The electrification of buildings and transportation is key to ensuring Wisconsin meets long-term decarbonization goals cost effectively. The scenario that delays action on the demand side drives costs for achieving net zero emissions higher by a present value of $20B over the next 30 years.

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