Wisconsin as a Leader in Solar Energy?

That may sound a bit strange if you’ve ever been through a Wisconsin winter (which I haven’t, but have visited numerous times during the season…. brrrr….). According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, though, the Apollo Alliance believes the state could quickly become a leader in the production of solar panels and wind turbines because of its existing manufacturing base. Companies like Green Bay’s Solar Mining Co. are ready to prove these predictions right:

Rising gas prices, terrorism, the Iraq war and hurricanes in the Gulf Coast have led more Americans to question U.S. dependence on foreign oil. President Bush acknowledged America was “addicted” to oil in his State of the Union address. Companies like Solar Mining stand to benefit from that growing interest.

A new analysis of the renewable energy industry suggests more investment in renewable energy would make local jobs boom. …

If the best hopes prove true, many more people in Green Bay and surrounding communities could be building solar panels and wind turbines, or producing bio-fuel like ethanol, in the near future.

“I’m not sure if people are hurting deep enough to turn completely to solar and wind power yet, but I do believe that will happen soon,” Wickham said. “People will be looking for alternatives.”

It turns out Wisconsin is on the cutting edge of renewable manufacturing, and the passage of a renewable energy bill in Madison, as well as state tax benefits, has companies like Solar Mining literally salivating. We talked about tipping points in terms of mindset, but it will very interesting to see which US states and regions, as well as countries and regions around the globe, have prepared themselves to take immediate advantage of that shift.

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