- Newsletter (386)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
Michigan EIBC releases Advanced Energy Platform for next administration
Platform details six policy priorities to support Michigan’s energy future, economy
LANSING –The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) and Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) today released a policy platform for the Michigan gubernatorial campaigns of Republican nominee Attorney General Bill Schuette and Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmeroutlining how clean energy can create jobs and drive economic growth in the state.
“Michigan’s clean energy industry is fueling economic growth and creating jobs across the state,” said Liesl Clark, President of the Michigan EIBC. “Michigan’s next governor can harness the economic power of the advanced energy industry, solidify the state’s leadership in mobility, and put quality jobs at the center of our energy future.”
The document outlines multiple policy priorities the next governor of Michigan can pursue to take full advantage of the economic development potential provided by advanced energy technologies and services. Michigan EIBC Board Members and Leadership Council were pleased to meet with leading gubernatorial candidates over the last several months to discuss the policy platform.
“Diversifying Michigan’s energy resources will provide the state with a significant advantage in providing secure, clean, and affordable energy for the future,” said JR Tolbert, Vice President of State Policy for AEE. “By pursuing these policy priorities, the next governor can leverage clean energy resources to drive economic growth and create additional jobs throughout the state, all while keeping electricity rates affordable for Michiganders.”
Our energy system is going through a dramatic evolution – attention to consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and the need to replace aging infrastructure are all contributing to a rapidly changing energy landscape. And with this transformation, comes opportunity to grow the 122,200 clean energy jobs in Michigan.
In their policy platform, Michigan EIBC and AEE present six keys themes for the gubernatorial campaigns to consider:
- Build upon recent legislative successes to further develop the runway for advanced energy in Michigan. Last year, clean energy jobs in Michigan grew almost three times faster than jobs in all other sectors in the state. It is essential that we build upon the successes in Michigan’s 2016 energy legislation to ensure that the laws are implemented as intended by the Legislature and to create additional opportunities for Michigan businesses to provide affordable, advanced energy to customers, companies, cities, and universities that are demanding it.
- Maximize energy efficiency and demand response to create jobs and provide cost savings. Energy efficiency and demand response remain the cheapest means of meeting Michigan’s energy needs. Demand response programs can help defer the construction of costly new generation plants and lower costs for Michigan industries and commercial buildings. This increases the competitiveness of Michigan businesses and helps retain and grow jobs.
- Increase opportunities to purchase renewable energy. Enabling customers to purchase renewable energy is critical to attracting and keeping companies in Michigan. It is critical that the state’s utilities are required to establish attractive programs that allow large users to secure access to renewable energy to meet this growing demand.
- Expand opportunities for customers to generate their own electricity. Energy generated by customers supports the grid, increases our energy independence and resilience, and improves self-reliability. It is critical that Michigan’s policies recognize the benefits of customer-owned energy generation by eliminating regulatory barriers, accurately valuing the produced energy, and ensuring that charges are fair and reasonable.
- Electrify Michigan’s transportation sector. Mobility, technology, and energy are increasingly interwoven and Michigan, as the automobile capital of the country and as an early investor in advanced batteries, stands to play a key role in this transition. Electric vehicles are crucial to keeping and growing the automobile industry and jobs in Michigan. We need a governor and Legislature that will help Michigan build and maintain a leadership position in this transformation.
- Modernize and improve Michigan’s electrical grid. Our electrical grid needs to be modernized so that we are able to take advantage of an increasing amount of distributed energy, energy storage, and electric vehicles. As the costs of renewable energy and storage continue to fall dramatically, and energy generation shifts from centralized power plants to distributed generation, it is critical that our electricity grid can keep pace.