Michigan counting on renewable energy

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Michigan's economy could get a boost from the boom in the state's renewable energy sectors of wind and solar. In fact, some in the state are counting on it.

"…the facts, data and dashboards all show that Michigan can become a national powerhouse in renewable energy, attract billions of dollars in new investments and create tens of thousands of new jobs with a stronger renewable energy standard," said Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs spokesperson Mark Fisk.

Fisk feels strongly about this position despite the fact that Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, has doubts. Gov. Snyder has concluded that, relative to other states, Michigan's renewable energy sector is not that strong.

"Michigan businesses and citizens are working hard to build a 21st century energy future for Michigan and provide powerful examples of the kind of economic gardening that Gov. Snyder says he supports," Fisk said. "Despite Gov. Snyder's doubts, Michigan has the skilled workforce, the manufacturing know-how and the Michigan-based resources to become a global energy leader."

Despite the doubts, Michigan's renewable energy industry seems ripe for success. Michigan utilities are reporting lower-than-expected costs for renewable energy, and Michigan ranks in the top 10 states for wind energy projects. Michigan has also made substantial investments into the advanced energy industry economy to the tune of $4.9 billion a year, according to an Energy Innovation Business Council report.

The Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs proposal seeks to increase Michigan's renewable energy standard from 10 percent by 2015 – among the lowest in the nation – to 25 percent by 2025.

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