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Michigan Energy Office, business leaders highlight economic opportunity created by state’s clean energy policies
Investors, wind companies advocate for renewable and energy efficiency standards
Today, Michigan-based wind supplier Ventower Industries and Boston Common Asset Management investor Steven Heim laid out the economic case for encouraging continued renewable energy development in Michigan. Steve Bakkal, director of the Michigan Energy Office, also discussed the potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency policies in the state. The event follows a November 4 report to the Governor’s office by the Michigan Public Services Commission, which recently reviewed the state’s renewable energy policies.
“As part of a year-long process, we've solicited comments from around the state on Michigan's energy efficiency and renewable energy policy and researched its current deployment and its potential," said Bakkal. "We’ve learned there is even more technical potential in both energy efficiency and renewable energy than what is currently in place.”
Ventower Industries vice president Scott Viciana joined Heim in offering his perspective into economic and energy policies like Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and energy efficiency standards, which have been successful in drawing thousands of renewable energy jobs to the state.
“We want to invest in the companies that are providing the solutions to sustainability challenges like energy,” said Heim. “We know that capital will flow to the places where the opportunities are provided. Michigan should be strengthening its commitment to renewable energy, which will attract further investments and jobs.”
“Ventower has been growing our orders and increasing jobs at our facility in Monroe,” said Viciana. “Having local wind power projects brings us closer to our market and helps keep the cost of Michigan's wind energy down. The state's renewable portfolio standard has been a success and an important catalyst for developing projects here, and we hope the state will continue to move forward on strengthening its renewable portfolio standard to further incentivize projects and companies in Michigan.”
Under Michigan’s current RPS, the state’s electricity providers will generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. The state’s energy efficiency standards have led to financial benefits for customers due to the requirement that electricity providers achieve energy savings of one percent each year. According to the Michigan Public Service Commission, every $1 invested in energy efficiency programs generates $3.55 in savings to customers.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.