Five energy proposals for Wisconsin & Madison

Thursday, August 07, 2008

From a commentary by Don Wichert, director of renewable energy programs for Focus on Energy, in the Wisconsin State Journal:

High energy prices and potential supply disruptions can prompt creative thinking and new approaches in thousands of situations. Here are five energy proposals that could be started immediately.

The most imminent is to provide innovative and analytical support to rebuild flooded homes and communities with sustainable energy designs.

Wisconsin folks have done this before in Soldiers Grove in 1978. This community effort can be replicated and improved upon using 30 years of sustainable development practices.

The second proposal is to retool the General Motors plant in Janesville to make the new GM Plug-In Hybrid Electric "Volt" or some similar next generation vehicle.

The changing of the car guard from big to efficient is a perfect transitional energy fit and an entire trained workforce and significant manufacturing infrastructure awaits in Janesville.

The Volt is due to be produced in 2010 for the 2011 model year, about the same time Janesville's SUV line will close.

Proposal three is to get the Wisconsin printing industry, led by companies like Quad Graphics, Serigraph and others, to start printing solar electric "paint" on building materials, like roofing, siding and windows.

A company called NanoSolar in the Silicon Valley has shown that this process can be done at drastically reduced cost. And that's when the printing techniques were developed from scratch.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our mature printing industry to follow suit.