Bioenergy in Wisconsin
In 2012, the University of Wisconsin-Madison united campus energy research under one banner – the Wisconsin Energy Institute. The Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative is proud to be part of this endeavor.
The energy challenge ahead requires a novel approach that goes beyond traditional academic boundaries to pursue multidisciplinary, collaborative research. Joining our efforts under one institute will only strengthen the impact in our home state and beyond. As part of the Wisconsin Energy Institute, we are continuing in the mission to stimulate the state’s economy, demonstrate Wisconsin’s expertise and train future bioenergy leaders.
These efforts can be seen throughout the new labs and hallways in the Wisconsin Energy Institute, and beyond the bounds of the building. WBI-supported faculty members distributed between three colleges and nine departments are hard at work studying agronomy, biochemistry, bacteriology, genetics, biological systems engineering, economics, geography and chemical engineering.
With increased campus support, the Wisconsin Energy Institute allows us to amplify outreach and education work throughout Wisconsin. We are already working to enhance programs that respond to community needs and are collaborating with UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and College of Engineering to provide opportunities for underrepresented student groups. This year, we will launch a robust suite of public events around energy and the WBI’s keystone annual outreach Summit will continue to feature bioenergy topics.
The Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative’s annual report demonstrates the strides our faculty and researchers have taken in poising our state as a leader in bioenergy. From innovative new research avenues to collaborative partnerships, we are proud to highlight WBI-supported activities from the past year.
The Wisconsin Division of Energy services contracted with the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI) to complete a strategic assessment of biomass in our state to see what renewable energy business opportunities might best be targeted and what policy changes might assist advancing these opportunities.
Historically, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created innovative responses to challenges facing Wisconsin, the nation and the world. In recent years, these challenges have related largely to energy security and the environment.
Wisconsin can create wealth and jobs by building a new energy economy. Now is the time to transition the old energy economy – built on coal and petroleum – to homegrown energy sources like biogas and biomass to create power, heat and alternative fuels.