Earlier this week, Valerie Brader, an attorney and former senior policy adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder, assumed her role as executive director of the new Michigan Agency for Energy. Brader will be the top energy adviser to Snyder and state department leaders. Snyder created the agency by executive order in March after setting it as a priority in January’s State of the State address.
In the coming year, nine of Michigan’s coal-fired power plants are scheduled to retire. That has environmentalists and renewable energy advocates cheering. And the state’s two major utilities, Consumer’s Energy and DTE, say they are ready to invest in a more sustainable energy future. But first, the companies say, Michigan has to return to a fully regulated electricity market.
There’s a lot to see at the Detroit Zoo: polar bears, giraffes, and crocodiles. But there’s also a lot that you don’t see, like all the poop from those animals. So, what happens to the animal waste from those lions and tigers and bears? At the Detroit Zoo, it could soon be turned into electricity.
Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder announced the creation of a new state entity: the Michigan Agency for Energy. The action comes less than a week after the governor called on the state to increase its reliance on clean energy. Snyder has set a goal for the state to draw up to 40-percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. He also wants to see the state become more energy efficient and reduce waste.
Barriers have developed that are standing in the way of advanced energy use in Michigan. That’s according to a report released recently by Michigan’s Institute for Energy Innovation. The institute says its report is the first serious effort to identify those barriers.
In an effort to increase the U.S.’s renewable energy portfolio, the wind industry has grown tremendously. Michigan is now home to just under 700 turbines, but not everyone is happy about the growing wind farm industry.
A new conservative group is hoping to open up the conversation about renewable energy. The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is working to increase the state’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
Last week, Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing-based media advocacy organization, released a study suggesting that electric customers in several states that offer greater customer choice pay more for it. Some key backers of electric choice have blasted the study, calling the findings unsubstantiated.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light announced last week, it will begin selling wind-generated electricity next year. James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council, says the plan is a great development.
Michigan's energy policy will become a hotter topic in the final months of 2013. Officials have held a series of energy public forums around the state this year. This Friday, Governor Rick Snyder will begin sharing the results with the public and the legislature. The legislature is expected to spend 2014 addressing state energy policy.
In a plan adopted last year by its Board of Trustees, Michigan State University committed to an “energy future” comprised 100% of renewable energy sources. This week, University President Lou Anna K. Simon updates the effort in her second annual energy roundtable, which will be a live webcast.