- Newsletter (315)
Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:
New Michigan EIBC Report Finds Advanced Energy Stimulus Can Jumpstart Michigan’s Economy
In an article in Energy News Network on Thursday, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman unveils our newest report on the return on investment that a federal stimulus into Michigan’s advanced energy industries could yield.
The report’s economic assessment by the Analysis Group “quantifies how increasing investment into advanced energy through a future federal stimulus package could energize the state’s economy, and finds that these investments would generate a return on the order of eight times the level of public spending for Michigan,” as Sherman writes. The sectors analyzed include energy efficiency, solar and wind energy, the electrification of buildings, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, energy storage, grid modernization (such as smart meters) and high-voltage transmission.
These are the technologies that Michigan will need to keep expanding in order to meet Governor Whitmer’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. That means, as Sherman writes, “ultimately, the pathways to achieve carbon neutrality and economic rejuvenation are in harmony.”
‘Clean Jobs’ Are ‘Better Jobs,’ According to New Study
Workers in the renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage and clean fuels and clean vehicles sectors make well above the national median hourly wage, according to a new report that describes itself as “the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector.”
The report, commissioned by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI), shows that when advanced energy investment leads to job growth, it leads to relatively well-paying jobs. That is an important finding that complements Michigan EIBC’s new report about the impact of a future advanced energy stimulus (see above in this newsletter) as well as E2’s own jobs reports.
Jobs in these advanced energy sectors paid a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019, compared to the national median wage of $19.14. Each of the sectors studied had wages above the median. Jobs in the wind sector paid the most at $25.95. The weighted average wage for wind and solar jobs was $24.85 and for energy efficiency jobs it was $24.44, both above the $24.37 hourly wage for fossil fuel extraction-related jobs.
“In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows,” according to E2.
The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) invites you to join us for the 8th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala taking place on Thursday, November 12 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm EST via Zoom.
During the gala, we will announce and celebrate this year’s Business of the Year and Project of the Year as voted on by the Michigan EIBC membership.
We are excited to announce that the opening speaker for the gala is Dr. Tony G. Reames, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment & Sustainability and director of the Urban Energy Justice Lab.
Dr. Reames conducts research in the emerging field of energy justice, investigating fair and equitable access to affordable, reliable, efficient and clean energy, and seeks to understand the production and persistence of spatial, racial, and socioeconomic residential energy disparities. He teaches a course on green development. Dr. Reames has a PhD in public administration, a Masters in engineering management, and a BS in civil engineering. Dr. Reames is also a licensed professional engineer and US Army veteran. He is a board member of the Institute for Energy Innovation.
The keynote speaker is Dana Nessel, Attorney General for the State of Michigan.
4:30 – 5:00 pm – Pre-Gala Happy Hour
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Gala Program
Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event and can be found on the Michigan EIBC website.
More information on Keynote Speaker:
Dana Nessel took office as Michigan’s Attorney General on January 1, 2019. Nessel honed her skills with the Wayne County Prosecutor before starting her practice as a defender of constitutional rights and the rights of indigent defendants, and as a premier litigator of LGBTQ issues. She challenged Michigan’s bans on adoption and marriage for same-sex couples with DeBoer v. Snyder; the landmark US Supreme Court case legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Nessel founded the Fair Michigan Foundation and with the Wayne County Prosecutor created the Fair Michigan Justice Project to prosecute hate crimes. A University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School graduate, Nessel lives with her wife, Alanna Maguire, and their twin sons, Alex and Zach.
Michigan Energy News
- DTE Energy is set to become a pure-play regulated electric and natural gas utility as its board approves a plan to spin off DTE’s company’s non-utility natural gas pipeline, storage and gathering business.
- Michigan Radio speaks with Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman about the impact of hitting Consumers Energy’s distributed generation cap.
- Utility Dive interviews Dr. Sherman in an article about the state-level impact the election could potentially have on renewable energy.
- Consumers Energy should conduct a value of solar study and work with stakeholders to develop a solar outflow credit for distributed generators, an administrative law judge recommends in the utility’s pending rate case.
- Otsego schools break ground on solar projects that are part of a wider solar initiative.
- While the winter will not be colder than normal, demand for home heating will go up as more people work from home, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Winter Energy Outlook.
- Fiat Chrysler plans to make an electric version of the Ram pickup truck.
National Energy News
- A Biden victory could cause the annual rate of solar project deployment to almost double, according to S&P Global Ratings.
- The Eastern U.S. grid operator the PJM Interconnection could cut greenhouse gas emissions across its footprint at much lower cost with a regional approach than with a state-by-state approach, according to a new study.
- A planned offshore wind project in Lake Erie that would be the first freshwater offshore wind farm in the U.S. continues to face regulatory hurdles and other challenges.
- Rhode Island is opening a 600 MW RFP for offshore wind.
- A top energy private equity investor tells Axios that “everyone is getting into renewables” because “it’s just a smarter long-term play, particularly as the macro economics of fossil fuels get worse and the macro economics of renewables get better.”
- A new alliance of manufacturers is working to promote fuel cells powered by “green” hydrogen over diesel fuel in the western U.S.
Due to the number of events that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, we are sharing some online webinars and tutorials on advanced energy topics that may be of interest.
The National Regulatory Research Institute has a three-part webinar series on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Utility Rate Making.”
Due to COVID-19, PlugVolt is offering complimentary access to a webinar series that provides a guide to how to select primary and secondary cells for battery products.
The Small Business Association of Michigan has many online resources including Youtube webinars and daily video briefings about COVID-19 and how small businesses in Michigan can cope.
Norton Rose Fulbright regularly organizes webinars featuring experts and executives of major companies, such as this one on the challenges that COVID-19 and low commodity prices pose to the energy industry.
The Clean Energy Group has a huge archive of webinars and presentations related to net metering, energy efficiency, EVs, energy storage and much more.
The Energy Storage Association has a number of upcoming and recorded webinars covering many different facets of energy storage.
Michigan Energy Events
The virtual Upper Peninsula Clean Energy Conference on Nov. 9 is being hosted by Michigan EIBC member Michigan Energy Options, Northern Michigan University, Superior Watershed Partnership, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan State University Extension, and U.P. regional planning agencies.
Voices for Carbon Neutrality, a coalition of University of Michigan faculty, alumni and students, is holding two webinars in November about aspects of university President Mark Schlissel’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality report.. The first, on Nov. 11, is Emerging Financing Options to Deliver Carbon Neutrality. The second, on Nov. 19, is Towards a Just and Equitable Carbon Neutrality Plan and will feature Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.
Register for Michigan EIBC’s Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Nov. 12.
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business is holding its inaugural Ross Energy WeekNov. 16-20, including a Renewable Energy Case Competition and Energy Conference.
National Energy Events
The Battery Show & EV Tech Digital Days is a virtual expo for the advanced battery industry, planned for Nov. 10-12.
Advanced Energy Economy experts will break down FERC’s landmark Order 2222, which opens the door to distributed energy resources in wholesale markets, in a Nov. 12webinar.
The Great Plains Institute is holding a webinar series on the Midwestern clean fuels policy. Learn more here.
The Green Task Force is requesting that non-profit and faith-based organizations fill out a brief survey to assess readiness for solar projects.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s PlanetM Testing Grant gives mobility companies the opportunity to access testing facilities around the state, including Mcity at the University of Michigan. Apply here.
The Detroit 2030 District is a free program that challenges Detroit building owners and managers to reduce wasted energy. Those that achieve the greatest reductions from the prior-year baseline will be recognized at the first annual Detroit Energy Challenge Award Ceremony in 2021. Visit 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.