Future Of Renewable Energy Research Center Programs In Question After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Proposes To Cut Funding

| by Sean Kelly
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is proposing an elimination of funding for a University of Wisconsin renewable energy research center, separate from his already proposed $300 million cut to the university over the next two years.

Walker’s proposal involves cutting $8.1 million from a bioenergy program over the course of the next two years – money that University officials said would be difficult to replace.

“I can't honestly say how we would replace it at this point," Wisconsin Energy Institute director Michael Corradini said, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. The research program, founded in 2009, develops technology that can convert things like corn stalks and wood chips into power sources. It also funds research for power generation and energy efficiency.

The Bioenergy Research Center was awarded five more years of funding in 2013, totaling $125 million. According to Corradini, Walker’s proposal “puts us in a difficult situation” because of the state’s commitment to the center.

“Any discontinuing of the matching funds would place the Board of Regents in noncompliance with the federal government,” he said.

Walker’s proposal would, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, eliminate approximately 35 positions from the bioenergy program.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel / Photo Credit: jsonline.com