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What is Energy?   Energy comes in many forms and results from many processes. It is a crucial part of the operation of stars, cells, machines, and economies. Living things compete for energy and energy flows through bio systems. Energy has been a decisive factor in our societies.

In moving towards sustainability, the decisions made today on how energy is produced, transported, shared, and used will determine the fundamental look and function of our communities and activities.

| Carbon | Peak Oil | Biofuels, Bioenergy and Biorefining | Energy Curriculum | Sustainable Energy for Municipalities and Agencies | Renewable Energy Information | Energy Resilience, Adaptation, Transitions, and Mitigation |


  • Carbon Capture Report
    This web site provides daily and archived reports on mainstream media statistics as well as daily news stories related to energy: Climate Change, Carbon Capture, Carbon Credits, Alternative Energy, Biofuels, Geothermal, Hydorelectric, Natural Gas, Nuclear Solar, Wind, Coal and Oil. 

  • Global Carbon Project
    The Global Carbon Project (GCP) was established in 2001 in recognition of the large scientific challenges and critical nature of the carbon cycle for Earth's sustainability. The scientific goal of the project is to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them. The web site contains articles and papers related to the carbon cycle, carbon neutral, greenhouse gasses, carbon budgets, forest carbon sinks, and all things carbon.

  • The Lean Economy Connection
    The Lean Economy Connection is a research facility in London that develops strategies to address current environmental problems, especially climate change and the depletion of fossil fuels. Tradable Energy Quotas (carbon trading), a broad range of policy areas focusing on reconnecting society and rebuilding community, non-technical language and an optimistic vision sets this research center apart from others.

  • A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Sequestration Credits
    A guide for landowners on the basics of credit income for sequestering CO2. Written by the Center for Integrated Natural Resources & Agricultural Management (CINRAM), at the University of Minnesota.

  • Carbon Credits for Carbon Sequestration
    A paper, by John G. DuPlissis, Forestry Outreach Specialist, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point outlining carbon credits, carbon trading carbon sequestration, and "Kyoto Protocols".

  • Carbon Credits: A new source of income from your woodlands.
    A paper, by John G. DuPlissis, Forestry Outreach Specialist, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, introducing how Carbon Credits provide a whole new way of thinking about how to earn income from the land.

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Peak Oil

  • The Hirsch Report
    Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management - a 2005 report known as the Hirsch Report. The report was sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

  • The Long Emergency
    The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century is a book by James Howard Kunstler (2005). The book explores issues of Peak Oil and related economic upheavals.

  • Future Scenarios
    The FutureScenarios organization presents an integrated approach to understanding the potential interaction between Climate Change and Peak Oil using a scenario planning model. In the process, permaculture as a design system is introduced to creatively respond to futures that involve progressively less and less available energy. This site is arranged as a long essay broken into micro-chapters that cover Energy Futures, Climate and Peak Oil, Descent Scenarios, Reactions, and extras.

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Biofuels, Bioenergy and Biorefining

  • Bioenergy Curriculum
    This curriculum was developed by the Bioenergy Training Center for community educators as well as farmers, landowners, community leaders, industry and the public. Online course modules are available on farm energy, anaerobic digestion and biogas, biodiesel, biomass combustion, efficiency and conservation, feedstocks and energy crops, gauging sustainability, solar energy and wind power.

  • UW-Extension Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team
    The purpose of the Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team is to build the capacity of Extension Agents and Educators to work with communities, residents and farmers to assess opportunities for developing a sustainable bioeconomy. The Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team provides training, resources, public education, and networking opportunities for Extension Specialists on the technical, environmental, social, and economic aspects of the emerging bioeconomy.

  • Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
    This web site focuses on education materials for K – college with relevance to bioenergy. Additional resources include a multimedia page, bioenergy buzzwords, energy statistics, climate change, related programs and more classroom activities.

  • Bioenergy Training Modular Course Series
    The Bioenergy Training Modular Course Series provides educational resources for Extension Educators on sustainable bioenergy. Four curriculum modules are available via an on-line platform. The four modules are: Introduction to Bioenergy, Bioenergy Crop Production & Harvesting; Water Resources: Issues and Opportunities in Bioenergy Generation; and Community Economic Development & Bioenergy Generation.

  • Bioenergy and Renewable Energy Community Assessment Toolkit
    The Bioenergy and Renewable Energy Community Assessment Toolkit

  • A Community Preparedness Index

  • Biomass research from the US Department of Energy
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory – US Department of Energy web site on Biomass research.

  • Biorefining - University of Minnesota
    This is a science oriented web site from the Center for Biorefining at the University of Minnesota that provides links to resources, research, and publications.

  • A virtual tour of converting sugar into power
    The Energy Center of Wisconsin has created a virtual tour of the world's first demonstration system capable of converting sugar into power.

  • Biofuels article from National Geographic
    A National Geographic article on biofuels.

  • Ethanol and Biofuel Information
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory – US Department of Energy web page on Biofuel Basics with a focus on ethanol.

  • Pros and Cons of Biofuels
    The Guardian, a newspaper in the UK, provides pros and cons of biofuels.

  • Biofuels from the US Department of Energy
    National Renewable Energy Laboratory – US Department of Energy web page on biodiesel.

  • US Department of Energy - Biodiesel
    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy web page on biodiesel including additional links to other web sites with information on biodiesel.

  • Energy Industries - Bioenergy
    By Andrew Dane
    Derived from natural resources, bioenergy is a prominent renewable energy source throughout the world. Most simplistically, it is wood used for cooking and heating; more complex examples include thermochemical conversions that produce biofuels. Although relevant technologies exist (and continue to be developed), many are not yet cost-effective, and questions remain about the industry’s long-term environmental impact. Used with permission, originally published in the Encyclopedia of Sustainability (c) Berkshire Publishing Group 2010, and provided here for individual use only and not for redistribution in any form.

  • Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI)
    A clearinghouse of the latest bioenergy news and upcoming events.

  • Wisconsin State Energy Office - Energy Independence
    This is a comprehensive web site containing information on E85 Stations, Terminology, Funding, Energy Assistance, Statistics and Tables, Relocation Assistance, Natural Gas, Fuels and Vehicles, Bioproducts, Energy Independent Communities, Clean Energy, News/Media, Reports, and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant information.

  • Wisconsin Grasslands Bioenergy Network
    Information on this website focuses on nonforest bioenergy and the Network provides information and networking opportunities for people involved in grassland and agriculture based bioenergy in Wisconsin. The site houses documents, bioenergy project atlases and the Biomass Resource Regions maps, directories, podcasts, events, grants, jobs and internships.

  • Network for New Energy Choices
    The mission of the Network for New Energy Choices is to promote policies that ensure safe, clean, and environmentally responsible energy options. Includes publications on net metering and distributed energy permitting.

  • Wisconsin Biorefining Development Initiative
    This Web site is a tool to help industry, agriculture, technology developers, and business supporters in Wisconsin pursue biorefining opportunities. Great set of fact sheets providing overview of energy conversion opportunities by type of feedstock.

  • Economics of Biofuels
    A report by the National Center for Environmental Economics with discussion on 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 and similar efforts to reduce C02.

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Energy Curriculum

  • Environmental Education in Wisconsin
    This is the Environmental Education in Wisconsin’s web page on Education for Sustainability in Wisconsin Schools. The site contains links to Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities and Wisconsin’s Plan to Advance Education for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability in PK-12 Schools.

  • Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity
    This site offers a Crash Course on the Economy that will provide users with a baseline understanding of the economy. There are a total of 20 sections which takes 3 hours and 23 minutes to watch in full.

  • Summary of Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity Course
    A 45 minute summary of the Crash Course on the Economy.

  • EcoLearnIT
    This site provides access to peer-reviewed Reusable Learning Objectives (on-line learning). These small learning units focused on environmental sciences (soil, water, climate, policy, ecosystem services), ecology, natural resources and agriculture management.

  • Nature-Art-Education
    This is a research group on arts-based environmental education with a mission to increase understanding of the added value of employing artistic methods in education about nature, develop new methods and concepts for arts-based environmental education, and act as a platform for sharing information and practices. The resource page provides PDFs of a variety of related publications.

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Sustainable  Energy for Municipalities and Agencies

  • Municipal Clean Energy Toolkit
    Municipal Clean Energy Toolkit: Included within the Toolkit is guidance on how municipalities can finance, purchase, install, and promote clean energy. The Toolkit contains material for any knowledge level – from municipal clean energy aficionado to beginner. For those more familiar with clean energy, the search function, the drop down menu, and the clean energy quick links help access specific information quickly. For users less familiar with clean energy, a navigational outline is provided.

  • Guide to Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Financing Districts for Local Governments
    The City of Berkeley and the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, have released a guide for local governments on energy efficiency and renewable energy financing districts. The guide describes the process of setting up an Energy Financing District (EFD) program, including administrative, legal, and financial issues.

  • President Obama signs an Executive Order
    An Executive Order signed by President Obama that requires Federal agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets.

  • Zero Net Energy: Policies and Projects
    This web site by UW-Extension inventories the policies, projects and research in the US and beyond that are moving zero net energy into goals and the marketplace.

  • Municipal Energy Planning: An Energy Efficiency Workbook
    This workbook provides a step-by-step guide for developing an energy efficiency (or energy conservation) plan for municipal governments. It was prepared by University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension faculty serving on the statewide Energy Conservation and Sustainability Teams to address an educational need of elected officials and municipal staff to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and operations. The workbook provides includes instruction on the following topics:

    • Getting started
    • Assessing current energy use and identifying energy issues
    • Evaluating the potential for municipal energy efficiency and conservation
    • Developing energy goals and evaluating options
    • Developing action plan
    By using this workbook as a guide and following the steps outlined in each of its sections, any municipality should be able to develop a usable energy efficiency plan.

  • Wisconsin Land Use Megatrends:  Energy
    This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between energy and land use. A map scenario is presented illustrating how Wisconsin might achieve its goal of producing 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, including potential effects on agricultural and forested lands. Statewide trends related to renewable and nonrenewable energy are explored together with building, transportation and community design approaches to reduce energy use. 12 pages. PowerPoint available from Center for Land Use Education.

  • US Mayors Climate Protection Center
    Information on climate protection policies.

  • US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
    Agreement signed by 600 mayors in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

  • Renewable Energy World
    Renewable energy news and information.

    A forum for creating a sustainable world.

  • Solarizing Marshfield, WI
    This web site is about solarizing Marshfield and provides related links.

  • United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Strategy Implementation Plan
    By 2025 the US Marine Corps will reduce battlefield energy requirements by 50 percent and by 2020 they propose that 50 percent of their bases and stations will be net-zero energy consumers. The full report is available at this link.

  • California Climate Change Portal
    The government of California's "portal" for all things Climate Change & sustainable energy.

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Renewable Energy Information

  • Renewable Energy Information for Kids
    Energy Kids from the US Energy Information Administration – provides basics on renewable energy for kids and adults. Also includes links to Using and Saving Electricity, History of Energy, Games and Activities, and a section for Teachers.

  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    The US Department of Energy has the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology.

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    Another web site from the US Department of Energy that provides information for consumers, kids, states and tribes. It has a variety of resources including education and training information, videos and publications.

  • Renewable Energy for Industry
    This is an industry oriented web site with information on renewable energy and investments in renewable energy.

  • Energy Planet
    Energy Planet is a renewable energy directory that provides links to 1,604 web site on renewable energy covering 32 different categories. This is the one shop stop!

  • Federal Guidelines a Step Forward for Bird-Friendly Wind Development
    This is a press release with statements by David Yarnold, Audubon President & CEO, and Mike Daulton, Audubon VP of Government Relations, March 23, 2012.

  • US Fish & Wildlife Service - Final Guidelines for Bird Friendly Wind Development
    The final Guidelines and other background information on the Fish & Service’s role in wind energy development.

  • Wind Map
    Surface wind data comes from the National Digital Forecast Database. These are near-term forecasts, revised once per hour. Depicted is a living portrait. Provides links to wind and wind power.

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Energy Resilience, Adaptation, Transitions, and Mitigation

  • Great Transition Initiative
    The Great Transition Initiative is directed by Paul Raskin at Harvard University and offers a network elaborating visions and pathways for a future of enriched lives, human solidarity and a healthy planet. Even as environmental and social crises threaten the future of humanity and the earth, a Great Transition is still possible if citizens around the world awaken and respond. Included are key concepts, essays, resources, slideshows and videos related to a Great Transition.

  • Post Carbon Institute
    The Post Carbon Institute promotes the strategy of relocalization – (local foods, energy, goods, currency and government) building strong local communities to increase resilience. Information is provided on how to join or set up a local group.

  • Transition United States
    The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. The web site offers information on Transition Towns, Transition 101, Training Opportunities, Storytelling and a Knowledge Hub.

  • Ecology and Science
    A journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability. Free subscription.

  • Transition Network
    A Transition Initiative is a community-led process that helps communities start projects in the areas of food, transportation, energy, education, housing, waste, arts, etc. and provides small scale and local responses to climate change, economic hardship and reduced cheap energy supplies. The web site provides support, resources and training information on how to start a transition initiative.

  • Transition US
    Transition US is a non-profit organization working on Transition Movements and initiatives in the United States. The Transition Movement seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis.

  • Transition Towns New Zealand
    This web site provides more information about Transition Towns and provides stories from New Zealand.

  • Willits (CA) Economic Localization
    This is a great example of one community’s approach to localization. The web site provides a clearinghouse of information that promotes a transition to a more sustainable and localized economy.

  • The Breakthrough Institute
    The mission of the Breakthrough Institute is to accelerate the transition to a future where all the world’s inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives of an ecologically vibrant planet. Information includes articles from the Breakthrough Journal, policy research conducted by young leaders from the Breakthrough Institute, programs and publications.

  • New Economy Network
    The mission of the New Economy Network is to support a transition to a new economy where the priority is to sustain people and the planet, social justice and cohesion are prized, and peace, communities, democracy and nature all flourish.

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