Government Affairs and Advocacy

The Wisconsin Legislature, state agencies and governor all make decisions that affect the future and profitability of the solar energy industry in Wisconsin.  But most policymakers know very little about solar energy or about its present and potential benefits for our state.  Few officials, for instance, are likely aware that Wisconsin actually has more sunlight than Germany, the world’s leader in solar energy.  Few officials understand the number of Wisconsin employers that are actively involved in solar energy or the phenomenal growth rate of the industry.  Educating those officials, as well as the public, is essential to continue that growth.

The issues for lawmakers and state agencies include both renewable requirements and renewable incentives. Preserving the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, for instance, is just one of many topics of debate. Allowing third-party ownership of solar electric facilities (the Clean Energy Choice bill) would greatly improve the market for and availability of solar energy in Wisconsin. The state’s own use of renewable energy, as well as voluntary building and energy conservation standards, are also important policy issues that affect solar industries, along with the state’s Focus on Energy program.

WiSEIA will help ensure that solar industries have a seat at the table in those discussions.  The association will help policymakers and the public understand the benefits that solar provides for job creation, energy independence and the environment.  Positions on specific issues are still being developed, but WiSEIA will advocate for policies that promote solar energy, expand markets, strengthen research and development, and provide solar incentives.

Making sure the interests of Wisconsin solar businesses and energy consumers is represented in Congress is one of WiSEA’s primary initiatives. WiSEA members will contribute to the legislative agenda for the Solar Energy Industry Association.