Past Projects

The Nelson Institute’s Energy Analysis and Policy (EAP) program uniquely brings together personnel  from multiple departments and colleges on campus. EAP cultivates a wide-range of engagements with businesses and NGOs. Contact Dr. Paul Meier at to discuss how EAP faculty, staff, and students can be engaged to address strategic questions at your organization.

Client Services

Client services projects connect students and faculty with public- and private-sector partners to collaboratively address real-world energy problems. These service agreements are performed at market-competitive rates, generating needed revenue for faculty research, EAP program activities, the Nelson Institute, and the educational mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Examples include:


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  • Boundless Impact Research & Analytics is working with EAP (Project Lead Paul Meier) to develop and support best practices for environmental impact analysis.

  • Earth Justice is working with EAP (Project Lead Tracey Holloway) to examine multi-pollutant strategies to improve both air quality and climate change.

  • The EAP program (Project Lead Paul Meier) assisted the City of Milwaukee with its low and zero-emission vehicle purchase requirements by evaluating the life-cycle costs of vehicle ownership across several vehicle types spanning gasoline, CNG, hybrid, and electric alternatives.

  • The National Wildlife Federation partnered with EAP (Project Lead Tyler Lark) to map bioenergy and wood pellet manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and explore their relationships with environmental justice communities

Sponsored Research Partners

EAP faculty conduct traditional grant-sponsored research with a wide range of businesses, government agencies, and NGOs. If you already have identified the EAP faculty or staff person you are interested in working with, you may reach out to them directly to begin a dialog. We can also help you arrange initial calls with prospective EAP researchers. To make connections beyond the EAP program, please consider contacting the Office of Business Engagement to navigate the path for conducting sponsored research.


  • Cycling and walking can improve human health while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions from other forms of transportation. Trek supported EAP Professor Jonathan Patz to research these health and environmental benefits using the Health Oriented Transportation (HOT) model. Read the report here.

  • Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) announced a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and worked with EAP (Project Lead Tracey Holloway) to determine if their plan was in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less. Follow up work examined the local air quality benefits of low-carbon initiatives. Read the news article here and scientific paper here.

Student Capstone Partners

EAP Capstone projects apply students’ interdisciplinary learning to an issue of real-world significance. Each spring, students work in small teams on issues supplied by real-world clients. EAP Capstone clients have included Fortune 500 companies, state government agencies, municipal governments, research laboratories, think tanks, non-profit organizations, and campus facilities.

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  • Ziegler Capital Management: For this capstone, the team evaluated the documentation and credibility of electric utility providers zero-carbon commitments to identify the best candidates for Ziegler Capital Management, LLC’s sustainability-focused investment strategies. (2022)

  • Westinghouse: Advanced nuclear power can help achieve carbon neutrality, so this project focused on an ideal place to host a nuclear micro-reactor on campus regarding the process, payment, regulations, and proposal. (2022)

  • Berkeley Labs: In this partnership, EAP students worked to understand the economic, environmental, technical, and justice and equity benefits of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (solar panels) siting decisions. (2022)

  • Office of Energy Innovation: This EAP capstone team deployed prototypes of electric Little Free Libraries (eLFL), solar-powered charging kiosks, for community members who may have difficulty charging their cell phones. (2022)

  • MN Commerce Department: Minnesota’s commerce department worked with EAP students to study the economic feasibility, social impacts, and environmental implications of renewable natural gas potential. (2022)

  • The City of Fitchburg, WI: The City of Fitchburg worked with an EAP capstone to make an annual report framework to guide energy conservation efforts and energy purchases. (2021)

  • Focus on Energy: Electrification of vehicles, both residential and commercial, can help on the path towards decarbonization, so this project focused on opportunities for commercial electrification as well as supporting policies. (2021)

  • Renew Wisconsin: Milwaukee residents were surveyed to help understand barriers to renewable energy adoptions among BIPOC communities in Wisconsin. (2021)

  • Organization of MISO States (OMS): In this capstone project, EAP students analyzed methods to determine regional long-term transmission needs for MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator). (2020)

  • Stockholm Environment Institute: In this project, students compiled a pre-feasibility assessment for four land-based climate mitigation projects (carbon sequestration) across four countries. (2020)

  • Union of Concerned Scientists: In this capstone, an analysis of the economic, environmental, and equity impacts of replacing coal plants in Illinois with clean energy policies was conducted. (2017)

  • Baxter: Fossil fuel emissions create negative health impacts, so for this capstone EAP students estimated the internal price of the health costs of fossil fuel emissions for Baxter and how they can use the health investment opportunity in their decision making. (2016)

  • Clean Wisconsin: For this real-world challenge, EAP students assessed the current state of energy generation in Wisconsin, calculated the technical as well as economic potential for distributed generation photovoltaic (DGPV) across Wisconsin, and then determined the potential emission reductions. (2016)