Public Funds Prop Up Green Energy PR Fest

Green Energy Summit “Sponsored” by More Than $250,000 in Public Funds

MacIver News Service | March 12, 2012

[Milwaukee] Given the amount of public money dumped into green energy over the past few years, it shouldn’t be surprising governments spent more than a quarter of a million dollars sponsoring the Green Energy Summit in Milwaukee last week.

The MacIver News Service has covered many government initiatives associated with green technology, and how little effect that money has. A recent story highlighted how $6 million of stimulus money sent to Wisconsin for a green jobs program created only a couple of actual jobs within the state government.

Even when such funds are given to private companies, the results have been less than impressive.  Solyndra, a solar panel company in California, went belly up after receiving $535 million from the feds.  In Wisconsin, ZBB Energy, a renewable energy battery company, was awarded a $14.7 million tax credit.  The company’s stock has not traded above $1 since September.

A wide array of universities, technical colleges, local governments and even the U.S. Department of Energy, sponsored the event.

A full list can be seen here .

There are different levels on sponsorship, with top donors giving $25,000 while the low end comes in at only $1,500.

Despite well known budget crunches, when governments at all levels are attempting to constrain spending, here in Wisconsin they scrounged up $254,000 of taxpayer money to finance a summit that promotes a sector of the economy that has also required massive public subsidies.

The Green Energy Summit aimed to highlight career, development, and investment opportunities within the green sector. As MNS has reported, that sector is difficult to define.

Nevertheless, over the course of three days various politicians, academics and executives from local businesses spoke at the conference, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Sponsor Amount
Wisconsin Technical College System $25,000
Milwaukee Area Technical College $25,000
University of Wisconsin System $25,000
UW-Milwaukee $25,000
US Department of Energy $15,000
Wisconsin Technical College System Foundation $15,000
Milwaukee Public Museum $15,000
Fox Valley Technical College $10,000
Blackhawk Technical College $10,000
Gateway Technical College $10,000
Lakeshore Technical College $10,000
Madison Area Technical College $10,000
Moraine Park Technical College $10,000
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College $10,000
Waukesha County Technical College $10,000
Mid-State Technical College $10,000
City of Milwaukee $5,000
Milwaukee Public Schools $5,000
UW-Whitewater $5,000
Milwaukee Shines $2,500
Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability $1,500
Total $254,000