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Friday, December 20, 2013

Keynotes and Agenda Set for January Renewable Energy Policy Summit

National, Regional, and Statewide Leaders Highlight Event

12/20/2013 - Press release from RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW Wisconsin will host its third annual Renewable Energy Policy Summit on Friday, January 10th, 2014 at the Pyle Center on the UW-Madison campus. The theme of the event, "We Mean Business," will highlight the importance of renewable energy to Wisconsin's economy. The early-bird registration deadline is Friday, December 20th.

The event will feature three keynote speakers.

·         Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado, will kick off the program. He will cover the potential for renewable energy development and how we can capture it.

·         Karl Rabago, Veteran of the US Army, Department of Energy, Austin Energy, Texas Public Utility Commission, and currently a consultant, lawyer, and advocate, will give a lunch address on the value and future of distributed renewable energy.

·         Michael Noble, Director of Minnesota-based Fresh Energy will close the day by discussing the origins of Minnesota's recent law  that will expand solar energy 30-fold by 2020 and the job creation that will come with it.

Panels and other sessions will continue to highlight the economic and business theme, with additional presentations on new projects and programs:

·         Wisconsin businesses including Melissa Van Ornum of Chilton-based DVO, Wisconsin’s leading biodigester designer, and Matt Neumann of SunVest, a Pewaukee-based solar developer. They will discuss the current business situation for clean energy development in Wisconsin. Joe Sullivan of Wind on the Wires, a regional wind energy advocacy organization, will also compare and contrast Wisconsin’s wind energy development with our Midwest neighbors. Tom Content of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel will moderate this panel.

·         A policy and legislative panel will discuss the current public policy environment surrounding clean, renewable energy, and prospects for strengthening it. The panel will feature Secretary Ben Brancel of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Representative Katrina Shankland (D-71st Stevens Point area). Additional legislators have been invited. Chris Schoenherr of the Department of Administration will moderate this panel.

·         A panel on the connections between research, innovation, and economic growth in the clean energy sector featuring Gary Radloff of the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Mike Bull of the Center on Energy and the Environment, and a representative of the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) is also expected to present. Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council will moderate this panel.

·         Afternoon roundtables on current issues and projects with networking opportunities such as community renewables, Clean Energy Choice, expanding our 10% Renewable Electricity Standard, bioenergy, regulatory matters before the Public Service Commission, and renewable energy credits (RECs).

·         Finally, a lunch awards ceremony will recognize the outstanding projects that came online this year and honor Wisconsin champions of renewable energy.

RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director Tyler Huebner says, “The We Mean Business theme was selected to highlight the tremendous economic development potential for Wisconsin from harvesting more of its own home-grown energy sources, and contrast it to the current uphill battle many renewable energy businesses currently face in this state."

The early-bird deadline for registration is Friday, December 20th. Early-bird rates are $75 for members of RENEW Wisconsin and $100 for non-members, and rates will go to $95 and $125 respectively after the deadline. The rate for government employees is $75 and for students is $35; these two rates won't change with the deadline. Membership with RENEW starts at $35 for individuals and $200 for businesses and organizations.

Agenda, speaker information, registration, and more information is available at

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