Newsletter: New Studies Highlight Importance of State Energy Policy

This newsletter was originally published on April 12, 2016.

New Studies Highlight Importance of State Energy Policy

The American Jobs Project released a study highlighting the job-growth potential for states with policies that support the advanced energy economy. Michigan has the potential to create 12,000 new jobs a year through policies that cultivate the advanced energy industry, especially in the solar and smart building sectors.

“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on industrial clusters can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced energy industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” Hank Love, project manager for the American Jobs Project, said of a series of new reports focused on job growth in 10 states.

This report follows findings from Michigan EIBC and the Clean Energy Trust that the existing policy framework has worked to create 87,000 jobs in Michigan alone. The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory also released their annual report of state renewable portfolio standards last week, showing 60 percent of all renewable generation in the United States were from state RPS policies. The report also detailed different adopting increased in their standards or replacing them.

The Michigan Legislature continues to debate changes to state energy policy affecting both retail open access and energy planning. HB 4927 and 4298 remain on the House Floor and SB 437 and 438 are in the Senate Energy and Technology Committee.  A few weeks ago, it was revealed through the governor’s Flint related emails that the office knew the new “clean energy goal” would not lead to new renewable build. No legislative actions have been taken since December of last year. We will keep you updated on any developments.


Poppe, Talberg to Highlight Michigan EIBC ‘s 4th Annual Member Meeting

Please join Michigan EIBC on Wednesday, May 4 for our 4th Annual Member Meeting at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. This full-day conference provides attendees an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments.
The meeting will feature an opening dialogue with two dynamic Michigan energy leaders – Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy ‘s incoming President and CEO, and the Honorable Sally Talberg, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission. A media roundtable will close out the day, looking at the current state of the energy debate in Michigan, and the impacts of the 2016 elections on the future of energy policy. This panel will feature Andy Balaskovitz from Midwest Energy News, Zach Gorchow from MIRS, Emily Lawler from MLive, and Kyle Melinn of Gongwer.

The conference also features a number of break-out sessions throughout the day, including:

  • How To Think Big in Small Place: Energy Innovations in Rural Communities, Industrial Parks, and Downtowns
  • The Changing Landscape of Energy Efficiency: Demand Response, ESCOs, and Where We Go From Here
  • Taking Advantage of the ITC/PTC: What Do the Next Five Years Hold for Renewable Energy Development
  • Innovation in Transportation: How Electrification, Lightweighting, and Connected Vehicles are Transforming Transportation

A partial list of our confirmed expert panelists include:

  • Mathias Bell, Manager – Market Development and Regulatory Affairs, Opower
  • Myles Burnsed, Director of New Markets, groSolar
  • Scott Ferguson, Vice President of Energy and Sustainability, Rockford Construction
  • Robert Jackson, , Manager, Michigan Energy Office
  • Andy Levin, President, Lean & Green Michigan
  • Marc Lewis, Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs, Indiana Michigan Power
  • Doug Luciani, , CEO, TraverseCONNECT
  • Melanie McCoy, Superintendent, Sebewaing Light and Water
  • Shane VanCise, Energy Solutions Account Executive, Johnson Controls

Michigan EIBC members receive a $75 discount on event registration, and registration is now open. This full day event includes lunch.

Reserve your seat today!

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and most come with the opportunity to exhibit at the event. Please contact Nicole Forward at for more information.

Michigan Energy News

Mlive has a piece on the importance of renewables and energy efficiency in agriculture, quoting Michigan Agribusiness Association Vice President Tim Boring.

The Michigan Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a group of Clinton County townships which sought to impose stricter limits on wind development than what the county allowed, with the Court finding that the townships failed to write their wind ordinances in line with Michigan’s Zoning Enforcement Act.

A new state law increases the requirements for marking of wind meteorological towers in Michigan. Public Act 28 of 2016 also requires owners of met towers 50 feet or higher with the Michigan Department of Transportation for inclusion in a directory.

Mlive has a story on Consumers Energy’s new President and CEO Patti Poppe returning to her hometown of Jackson.

The Mining Gazette and Capitol News Service have stories about Michigan EIBC’s recently released jobs report with the Clean Energy Trust.

Utility Dive has a story on Consumers Energy partnering with Michigan State University on an energy storage pilot.

MiBiz has a piece on Michigan corporate purchasing of advanced energy, citing Advanced Energy Economy’s latest report.

The city of Ann Arbor and the city of Grand Rapids both signed amicus briefs supporting the Clean Power Plan.


National Energy News

The Massachusetts State House just passed legislation that raises the net metering cap, but lowers customers’ compensation, Utility Dive reports.

The New York Times has a feature on the complimentary relationship between curbing emissions and economic growth.

SEIA released a solar consumer protection guide; you can read about it here.

The Hill has a story about talks around the Senate energy bill being at a standstill.

Bloomberg reports that Google’s providing seed funding for renewable energy certification programs across Asia.

The Maryland Senate just passed a 25 percent RPS. The House passed a similar bill too, so once the two versions are reconciled it heads to the governor’s desk.

Utility Dive has a story about the diverse set of groups who filed amicus briefs supporting the Clean Power Plan, including some investor-owned utilities.

A new Navigant study shows that demand response spending should reach $1.2 billion by 2025.

Utility Dive has a feature on a new proposal from the California Public Utility Commission for utilities to earn a rate of return on distributed energy sources.


Michigan Events

The U.S. Green Building Council – West Michigan is hosting its 2nd Annual Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit on Friday, April 22 at the JW Marriott Ballroom in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Geothermal Energy Association has its Spring meeting in Mt. Pleasant on April 26 & 27. Email Larry Kaufman at to get a registration form.

The Engineering Society of Detroit – together with DTE Energy – is hosting its annual Energy Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
The 4th Annual Michigan EIBC Members Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 4 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Registration is available here; contact Nicole Forward for sponsorship information.
The 2016 Michigan CHP Conference will be held Tuesday, May 10 at Oakland University in Rochester. The theme for this year’s conference is “Moving to Clean Energy with Combined Heat and Power: Matching CHP Customers to Suppliers.” Register here.
The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association is hosting the Michigan Energy Fair on June 24-25 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. This year’s Fair also boasts the Great Lakes Emergency Preparedness Expo and the Sustainable Living Summit 2016.

National Events
AWEA’s annual WINDPOWER event will take place May 23-26 in New Orleans.
Intersolar North America will take place July 12-14 in San Francisco.
Solar Power International is scheduled for September 12-15 in Las Vegas.
The Battery Show, collocated with the Critical Power Expo and Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, will be held in Novi from September 13-15.


Additional Resources
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is home to PowerSuite, a suite of tools that allows companies a one-stop on-line portal to search, track, and collaborate on state legislation and regulatory proceedings from around the country.
PowerSuite includes both BillBoard, the AEE dashboard for managing state legislation, and DocketDash, the AEE dashboard for managing state public utility commission proceedings. Subscription required. is a national solar permitting database that provides information on permitting for solar in jurisdictions across the country. The database includes a variety of information, from average permit turnaround times, to information required to be included in the permit, to contact information for individual jurisdictions. You can browse the requirements for the Michigan cities included in the database here.
The U.S. Department of Energy is offering A Guide to Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment. The downloadable guide provides information about the various federal financing programs available for energy efficiency and renewable energy — making it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The Department of Energy has offers free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.