It seems as if there’s a wave building, one that could help to float Michigan out of our long economic doldrums. All across the state, businesses that leverage wind, sun and alternative energy are starting or expanding. Adding to the momentum is a recently approved Renewable Energy Package that raises rates but also provides incentives to offset that increase through purchase of compact fluorescents and other energy saving devices.
There is justifiable concern that we’re raising energy prices at a time when we can ill afford it, but this is balanced by concern that we can’t afford to fall any further behind in efforts to attract next-generation businesses to Michigan or to keep exporting our energy dollars out of Michigan. The Michigan Energy Overview from the Michigan Public Service Commission explains that:
Michigan imports 97 percent of its petroleum needs, 80 percent of its natural gas and 100 percent of coal and nuclear fuel from other states and nations. These imports account for about 70 cents of every dollar spent for energy by Michigan’s citizens and businesses. Michigan spent a total of $37 billion on all forms of energy in 2007 and of that amount $26 billion was for the energy resources imported from other states and nations.
Events & Action
You might also be interested in the Conference on Michigan’s Future which will be held November 14-16, 2008 at Crystal Mountain Resort. It explore how rising oil and energy prices are crippling Michigan’s economy and propose solutions to prepare Michigan for the economy of tomorrow.
Links & Beyond
- In addition to listing events, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association has an amazing list of links to educational & scientific resources and organizations.
- Michigan GREEN (Group for a Renewable Energy Efficient Nation) is a non-profit group comprised of energy companies and consultants, governmental agencies, schools & individuals that champion renewable energy and energy efficiency in Michigan.
- The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) in Muskegon is a research and development facility that is exploring new technologies and applications including an offshore wind energy pilot project.
- NextEnergy is a Detroit-based nonprofit that research catalysts and business accelerators for alternative and renewable energy
- The Michigan Energy Office manages state programs like Green Lodging, Rebuild Michigan, Biomass and Clean Cities.
- The Michigan Advantage from the MEDC is a site created to help companies seeking to relocate or invest in Michigan and alternative energy is one of their targeted industries for expansion.
- Urban Options has some Michigan Renewable Energy Success Stories that you might want to read.
- TEACH Great Lakes at the Great Lakes Information Network has a lot of resources for alternative energy education.
- Absolute Michigan keywords like wind energy, alternative energy and solar are great places to find articles and companies.
- As always, we need you to share links to companies, organizations, web sites and stories that we’ve missed in the comments!