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Clean Energy Investment Coming To MI

PHOTO: Michigan's growing solar industry is one analysts say will benefit from a recent $48 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners to help states meet new carbon emission targets and transition to cleaner energy sources. Photo credit: Jusben/morguefile.com.
PHOTO: Michigan's growing solar industry is one analysts say will benefit from a recent $48 million investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners to help states meet new carbon emission targets and transition to cleaner energy sources. Photo credit: Jusben/morguefile.com.
January 26, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - Every state is different, and every state's response to the nation's energy problems will be different. That's why one group is investing in state-based clean-energy solutions to the tune of $48 million.

The Clean Energy Initiative from Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners was launched to help states prepare to meet the proposed Environmental Protection Agency standards in the way that makes the most sense to them.

Dan Scripps, president with the Michigan-based Institute for Energy Innovation, calls it a win-win for the environment and for the economy.

"Whether it's manufacturing the solar panels or involving the folks who are climbing up on roofs to install them, some folks are focused on the climate realities and the need for action," he says. "Others are just seeing this as a great economic opportunity."

The EPA's Clean Power Plan was released last June and establishes state-by-state carbon emissions rate reduction targets, with a flexible framework for meeting them. It would reduce national electricity sector emissions by an estimated 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and is expected to be finalized this summer.

Scripps says because of Michigan's deep manufacturing roots and skilled workforce, the state is well-positioned to ride what he calls the rising tide of advanced energy production.

"We have the whole value chain of solar manufacturing in Michigan, from manufacturing the polysilicon to the end panels, and everything else," he says. "From a manufacturing perspective it's great and you're going to see more and more people who are making careers in solar installation. "

The National Resources Defense Council estimates as Michigan expands its clean-energy production, the renewable-energy industry could support nearly 21,000 jobs in manufacturing alone by 2020.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI