MADISON, Wis. — There’s a new clean energy initiative in the Badger State.

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday signed an executive order creating the Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation to advise on creating the state’s first-ever Green Innovation Fund. The Green Innovation Fund and its partners will use public and private financing to invest in projects that provide environmental and clean energy solutions to businesses, reduce pollution, lower energy costs for families and expand access to clean, affordable energy options.

“Wisconsin is ready for bold and urgent solutions to the climate crisis, and creating the Green Innovation Fund will not only help propel our state forward towards our clean energy goals and enable our state to leverage federal funding available under the Inflation Reduction Act, but it will establish Wisconsin as a leader in innovative technology and clean energy,” Evers said. “This Commission is an important step forward in doing that and to ensuring this fund is successful in building a sustainable, clean energy economy for the future.”

It will be the first environmental and clean energy fund in Wisconsin.

Often referred to as “green banks,” similar pushes have been established in other states, including Colorado, Illinois and Nevada. Both the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, which Evers established in 2019, and the state’s Clean Energy Plan released last April, recommend that the Badger State should evaluate options for a “green bank” to support more statewide projects.

Besides private financing for the fund, the federal Inflation Reduction Act created the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund and allocated $27 billion in competitive funding for states and nonprofits that collaborate with community financing institutions, like green banks, to support projects that will combat the climate crisis, invest in innovative clean energy development and create quality jobs.


“Solving Wisconsin’s environmental and clean energy challenges requires collaboration across the state,” Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld said. “We’re excited to work with [the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation] and other partners to support the governor’s Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation so we can collaboratively identify solutions that will move us toward a green energy future for Wisconsin’s economy, residents and communities and support our state’s Clean Energy Plan.” 

The Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation will be composed of members appointed by Evers, including representatives from the DOA, the WEDC and different stakeholders. The fund will be administered by WEDC in partnership with DOA to support the development and deployment of next-generation environmental and clean energy technologies and projects in Wisconsin, helping to create jobs and reduce energy costs for families and businesses.

“The Green Innovation Fund is a great opportunity for our state to invest in environmental and clean energy technologies that will stimulate innovation and create next-generation jobs,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said. “WEDC will actively seek all possible funding opportunities so Wisconsin manufacturers and other businesses can position themselves as leaders in these new technologies.”

Evers said the creation of the Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation and the Green Innovation Fund is a critical step in advancing the state’s goal to ensure all electricity consumed within the state is 100% carbon-free by 2050.

The governor also said the fund will help ensure that more local families, businesses and communities will be able to utilize new technologies and will ensure that every ZIP code throughout the state will feel the impact from it.


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