Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, a senior economist at the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute, discusses the “intersection of energy, economics, policy, and human behavior.”
Ten years ago, Lansing’s municipal utility was floating plans for a major new coal plant. Today the company plans to have no coal in its fleet at all by 2025.
A Greek company with an office in Michigan has broken a key cost barrier in submetering technology – which can monitor energy use down to individual devices.
Within the past four months, two West Michigan cities have adopted Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs, but are doing so in a relatively uncommon way.
Michigan’s automakers, regulators and electric utilities are beginning to take steps in the right direction, but much more must be done to unlock the immense potential of the electric vehicle market today.
On the outskirts of Traverse City, Michigan, sitting in the middle of farmland off M-72, is a giant lonely wind turbine that, in addition to electricity, produces a sense of pride for Jim Carruthers. As a private citizen in 1996, he helped push for construction of this now-iconic structure, at the time the largest operating wind turbine in the country. Today, he is mayor of this 15,000-plus-population (and growing) tourist town off the shores of Lake Michigan. He recently helped make news for Traverse City by setting a goal of powering all its city operations with renewable energy by 2020. Along the way toward that goal, though, he’s discovering the costs are higher than anticipated, including a surcharge for a new solar array.
Plans to build natural gas plants to replace coal-fired generation in Michigan are facing scrutiny from advocates looking to ensure renewable energy and energy efficiency are also being considered. The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a request by the Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. (UMERC) to build two gas plants totaling 183 megawatts in the Upper Peninsula to replace a 62-year-old coal plant in Marquette. Meanwhile, earlier this month DTE Energy announced plans to build a $989 million, 1,100-MW natural gas-powered combined cycle plant in southeast Michigan near Detroit. While the projects are in different stages of development and are on a vastly different scale, clean energy advocates say there are similarities in determining what comprises Michigan’s future energy mix and how reliant the state will be on natural gas as aging power plants are retired.
For West Michigan developer Jeffrey Dombrowski, tying together clean energy and affordable housing is a chance to give back to residents after 20 years in the real estate business.
Clean energy advocates say the automotive capital of the world could be doing more to support the growth of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
A clean energy financing program in Michigan reached a milestone last month when it helped homeowners and businesses install 1 megawatt of solar energy across the state.