Electrification in the Rural North

Electrification and Climate Map

This project will evaluate the barriers and opportunities to electrification of heating and cooling services in the rural north in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan by using three community case studies to understand the unique features of housing in post-extractivist and Tribal Nation communities in this region. Results will compare energy justice outcomes across alternative pathways for the provision of resilient heating and cooling services, and this study will examine the expansion of new renewable energy and energy storage on rural lands required for electrification.

The project team includes a Community Advisory Board which consists of community stakeholders from across the region, with six being residents of the three case study communities. The Advisory board was launched in the summer of 2023 and meets regularly to provide input to the research team. We are grateful for the input of a diverse and thoughtful Board to help us produce community-informed research for the rural north.

This project is supported by a $499,445 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Solar Panels

Solar photovoltaics and wind power are expected to continue their market growth across the U.S., including in northern states. 

Green Fields

Widespread electrification depends on continued growth in renewable energy, and rural lands will be considered for wind and solar siting.  Photo courtesy of pixnio.com

Snowing with house in background

The building characteristics of homes in rural, northern communities are different from their urban counterparts.  Photo courtesy of pixnio.com