Energy & Society

Energy & Society The Wisconsin Energy Institute understands the importance of social and environmental perspectives on energy, and a portion of its research focuses on environmental studies, science communication, economics, and policy and regulation.

To be successful in changing our energy systems for the better we have to create a cross-disciplinary landing pad, a place for all kinds of education and research associated with energy, sustainability, and climate change. We cannot work alone. We have to challenge one another.

Professor Ian Coxhead, UW–Madison Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

The challenge of transitioning the world to clean energy systems is one of the biggest and most complicated of our time. Though a critical component of that transition, technological innovation alone is not enough to transform our systems, our policies, or our ways of thinking. That’s why Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) experts are committed to understanding the political, social, and economic contexts in which energy is used, and in which new technologies are deployed. Our cross-disciplinary research on energy and society focuses on four areas:

  • Environmental studies;
  • Science communication;
  • Economics; and
  • Policy and regulation

WEI experts measure the impact of new energy policies on people’s health and wellbeing, study the ways in which people interpret scientific information on energy, develop techno-economic models that help make clean energy sources more affordable and efficient, provide policy recommendations to state and federal lawmakers, and more.

Across all areas of our research, we seek out creative partnerships with industry leaders and other critical stakeholders, and focus on transformative research with a place and a purpose in the marketplace and in the world.