Job Sustainability: Green Jobs in the State of Wisconsin

State of the local economy in
La Crosse County and the
potential for Green Jobs
Karl Green, Assistant Professor,
UW-Extension, La Crosse County
Funding for new job creation
• HR 1 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Title IV Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy - $16.8B
Innovative Technology Loans - $6B
Other Energy Programs - $22.375B
These include:
– Extended tax credits for producing elec. From renewable
sources through 2012 (wind) and 2013 (other)
– Allocations for New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds & Qualified
Energy Conservation Bonds
– Removes limitations on the tax credit for residential energy
efficient property for solar thermal, wind & geothermal heat pump
Hybrid systems Rural
Electrification Resource
Solid Biomass
& Waste
Wisconsin End Use Energy
Total: $19,487,000,000
Source: Wisconsin Energy Statistics, 2007 Office of Energy Independence- Department of Administration
Transportation fuels are a drain on
Wisconsin’s economy.
• State Petroleum Use
– $10.43B (53%) for 29.4% of utilized btu’s
• State Natural Gas Use
– $3.28B (17%) for 21.8% of utilized btu’s
• State Electrical Use
– $5.63B (29%) for 49.8% of utilized btu’s
A hierarchy of energy expenditures in Wisconsin:
$Transportation fuels > $Natural Gas > $Electrical
So where might green jobs come from?
• Any product that might cause an offset of energy use
– These products ability to create savings have a direct cash flow potential
(i.e. LED lighting versus CFL, versus Incandescent light bulb)
• Products that increase efficiency/reduce energy loss
– 10% of total electric energy produced in US is lost during transmission
– Thermal efficiency of electricity generation is ~30%
• Fuels Densification
– How many BTU equivalents can we fit into a mobile battery
– Fuel Hierarchy
• Hybrid innovations (NGV w/ hybrid?)
• Fuels that have added value
Carbon sequestration
Less fuel inputs (Biofuels – cellulosic versus grain)
Lowers soil erosion
Creates various by-products
• Coupling of Industry utilizing by-products or waste streams
– Flambeau Rivers Biofuels
– Anderson Windows
• Numerous Job opportunities:
– Chemical engineers, chemists, chemical
equipment operators, chemical technicians,
mixing & blending machine operators,
agricultural workers, farm product purchasers,
aggregators, etc.
– How do we improve biofuel technology?
– Process issues?
– Farm to facility transportation improvements
How about Methane?
• So what can we produce in Wisconsin?
Methane from cow manure?
Methane from Biomass (dry fermentation)
Methane from wastewater?
Project costs of these options are measured in terms
of return on investment.
– However, payback is most often captured in electrical
payback costs from power company
• Large portion of investment is for generator costs
• Instead – what about a system that compresses the gas for
heating or transportation fuel (fuel cost hierarchy)
What if the methane ran highly
efficient neighborhood electric
Made in Reedsburg, WI
Who would care if their mail/parcel
delivery came via one of these?
Made in Reedsburg, WI
What about Biocomposites?
• Materials formed between a resin (matrix)
and reinforced natural fibers
• Often these products may be
• Petrochemical resin base is replaced with
a vegetable/animal based resin
• Filler (ex. fiberglass) is replaced with
natural fibers (jute, sisal, wood fibers)
All composite products of
Wisconsin based TeeLGRT
What about wind power?
• Numerous Job opportunities:
– Environmental engineers, iron & steel
workers, millwrights, sheet metal workers,
machinists, electrical equipment assemblers,
construction equipment operators, industrial
production managers,
– How do we improve wind technology?
– Design issues?
Conclusions to consider….
• World energy use is increasing, as is US and Wisconsin
energy use
• Wisconsin imports nearly all its energy
• This currently represents $19 Billion in economic
leakage from the State
• Technological innovations could create opportunities in
Wisconsin to generate/ add value to energy costs
• New technologies require old skills and new skills.
• How should Wisconsin pursue these technologies?
• What are Wisconsin’s strengths?
• What is the next step for Wisconsin/ Western