Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Katherine Hyatt


renewable energy, electricity prices




This research study investigated whether adding renewable energy to the grid in Wisconsin would lower or maintain electricity prices through 2050. Since Wisconsin adopted a plan to become carbon neutral by 2050, this study explored different paths to achieving this goal. This study examined three different paths or scenarios, specifically base case, optimal, and carbon-free, using an Excel-built toolkit. The toolkit allowed the researcher to customize all major assumptions, making it a practical tool that could assist electric utilities in the future in determining whether additional renewable energy would indeed lower and stabilize electricity prices. Applying different statistical tools to the scenarios, the study discovered that the base case scenario would achieve 25 percent renewable energy by 2050 with the projected electricity price of 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), the optimal model would create 33 percent renewable energy with the electricity price of 16.9 cents per kWh, and the carbon-free scenario would create 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 with the projected electricity price of 21 cents per kWh. The hedging premium exhibits higher volatility than the natural gas prices as the coefficient of variance (COV) exhibits the volatility of the hedging costs at 883.33, meaning the end users need to pay a 1-cent premium per kWh. Assuming that Wisconsin’s grid has a medium capacity to absorb large quantities of renewable energy, this study estimates that under the base case scenario, adding one kilowatt of renewable energy decreases the price of electricity by 1.4 cents per kWh. The optimal scenario keeps the electricity prices almost the same, 0.03 cents per kWh, compared to the no additional renewable energy scenario. Under the carbon-free scenario, the most aggressive scenario in terms of adding renewables, electricity prices are estimated to rise an average of 3 cents per kWh.

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