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Monday, 20 February 2012 14:15

Council to promote energy manufacturing

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LANSING — Michigan clean energy businesses continue to build support for renewable energy development, as evidenced by the formation of a new group, the Energy Innovation Business Council, announced on Feb. 8 at an event at the Capitol building.

Speakers from Astraeus Wind Energy Inc., The Dow Chemical Company and LED Optical Solutions were on hand to discuss the particulars of Michigan’s growing advanced energy industry. The EIBC plans to work with the public and policymakers to push Michigan’s clean energy economy.

“(The council) is interested in policy, but the main goal is sharing (companies’) stories,” said Liesl Clark, principal at 5 Lakes Energy.

The event also included a presentation by The Hill Group of an economic impact study on current wind, solar, biomass and clean energy storage device activity. The study indicated Michigan’s new energy manufacturing sector supports more than 20,700 jobs a year, with an entire industry impact of $4.9 billion as well as more than $163 million in tax revenues.

The EIBC noted that state-level programs have encouraged investments in these sectors. Retrained workers and renovated manufacturing facilities have also allowed existing companies to diversify their products and made it possible for new companies to enter the market, which is now maintaining a strong base in Michigan, according to the EIBC.

The group’s plans to continue to encourage new energy manufacturing includes:

  • Education campaigns promoting new energy and new energy manufacturing;
  • Enhancing the economic impact, not just the environmental impacts, of clean energy;
  • Incentive programs for new-entrants and re-tooled incumbents;
  • Local supply chain sourcing;
  • Strengthening the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

As traditional fuels and energy sources become increasingly scarce, “the global and domestic demand for renewables will only go up,” Clark said. The EIBC aims to leverage the state’s expertise in manufacturing to become a hub for renewable energy products and production.

Read 1260 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 August 2012 23:29