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Interview: Wisconsin Energy Institute expert says state lags in renewable standards

January 21, 2014

The Legislature is making some minor changes to the state's renewable portfolio standards, which require that by 2015 regulated utilities provide 10 percent of their energy from green sources like wind, solar, hydro-electric, manure, and biomass. 

But what the Wisconsin really needs is a major overhaul of utility regulations that would encourage utility investment in alternative energy and new technology, according to Gary Radloff, Midwest energy policy analysis director at the UW-Madison Wisconsin Energy Institute. 

January 16, 2014

Using a plant-derived chemical, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a process for creating a concentrated stream of sugars that’s ripe with possibility for biofuels.
Newest alternate energy research facility in the U.S. designed by HOK

January 06, 2014

The Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI), the newest alternate energy research center in the U.S., is fulfilling a prime objective—creating random opportunities for scientists of various disciplines to casually communicate. The five-story, 104,000-sf research center is on the Univ. of Wisconsin (UW) campus in Madison, Wis. Designed by the St. Louis office of HOK and Madison-based Potter Lawson, the $57.1 million facility hosts renewable energy systems research. It was funded by the state of Wisconsin.

Biofuels Digest Names Two Wisconsin Energy Institute Researchers to its list of the “Top 100 People in the Bioeconomy, 2013-14.”

December 31, 2013

Biofuels Digest recently named UW-Madison professors of chemical and biological engineering, George Huber and Jim Dumesic, to its list of the “Top 100 People in the Bioeconomy, 2013-14.”

Each year, the Digest’s more than 34,000 subscribers are invited to nominate the top 100 “transformative people to know in bioenergy or bio-industry.” Digest editors then compile a list of the most outstanding researchers, industry executives, policymakers, and company executives from all over the world.

December 24, 2013

Last spring, Betty Ybarra occupied a tent in a county park and with her tentmates dug moats to discourage oncoming floodwaters.

Starting Christmas Eve, she and a tentmate will upgrade to a brand new “tiny home” they helped build with aid from a variety of helpers including local colleges. It has a roof, insulated walls, a toilet and a sink. Christmas lights hang outside it.

It’s a twist of fate more fortunate than they could imagine possible.

November 26, 2013

Rows of corn and soybeans cover rolling hills, stitched together by creeks and woodlands that compose southwest Wisconsin's agricultural patchwork. These complex landscapes provide clean water, wildlife habitat and climate benefits, yet, historically their value has been measured in just one way: bushels per acre.

November 22, 2013

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Recreational Sports is taking strides toward a greener fitness environment at the Southeast Recreational Facility (SERF). The SERF is now home to the SportsArt “Green System,” a group of six fitness machines that harvest human-generated power.

Student and professors began installation of solar energy system on shed roof in Mastatal, Costa Rica.

November 22, 2013

Coiled and unmoving, the “Velvet Viper” is invisible among the native plants in Costa Rica’s rainforests. Aggressive and poisonous, the nation’s most dangerous snake is also nocturnal—a constant danger to villagers without access to electricity. 

“The first thing people ask for is a light by the outhouse,” says Ken Walz. “Almost no one has an indoor bathroom. Being able to walk to the outhouse after dark without having to worry about poisonous snakes is important.”

November 22, 2013

When the government of Ethiopia finishes building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2017 or 2018, it will not only have built the largest hydroelectric power-generation plant in Africa, but also stirred up tensions among African nations, and indelibly altered a river that itself has guided millennia of human history in the region.

November 22, 2013

When the government of Ethiopia finishes building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2017 or 2018, it will not only have built the largest hydroelectric power-generation plant in Africa, but also stirred up tensions among African nations, and indelibly altered a river that itself has guided millennia of human history in the region.

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