10 kW Bergey wind machine atop tower in Lawrence, Michigan
Photo by Toy, Art and Sharon, NREL PIX number 13827
The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center was developed in 1991 in response to the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The site features a database with state and federal laws and incentives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.
The Community Sustainability Partnership (CSP) was established and developed to support achievement of the principles of the triple bottom line; economic prosperity, environmental integrity, and social justice. The initial partners include the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Grand Valley State University. Currently, there are over 200 endorsing partners from the public and private sectors.
Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is an ongoing project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the North Carolina Solar Center. The organization’s mission is to accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities.
The Michigan Energy Office is dedicated to promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in all sectors of the state. The site contains a variety of case studies, links, resources on making homes and businesses more energy efficient and energy independent, alternative fuels, and various governmental programs.
"Green Generation" allows residents who purchase electricity from Consumers Energy to pay a little extra to obtain energy derived from the wind or landfill gas. The renewable energy generated locally is added to the electrical grid and the generator is paid by Consumers Energy. The resident is most likely not obtaining energy from renewable sources, but it is assuring the continued purchase of green energy by the electric utility and promoting this industry.
The goal of this program is to encourage increased production and use of energy derived from Michigan's biomass resources through program policies, public and private partnerships, information dissemination, and state project grants.
Michigan GREEN is a non-profit organization committed to advancing the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, increasing the awareness and understanding of these technologies, and providing access to financial institutions that facilitate funding opportunities for energy related projects. This site provides information on energy saving tips, and a multitude of articles related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Michigan’s Regional Skills Alliances (MiRSAs) are locally-managed partnerships formed to address workforce issues affecting firms operating in the same industry in a distinct geographic area. Among the challenges the MiRSAs set out to resolve are worker shortages, skill shortages, training mismatches, employee recruitment and retention, and organizational design.
"The participating members of the Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition come together as a body of community leaders with a common goal of advancing the principles of Sustainability throughout Muskegon County. The Coalition acknowledges existing initiatives undertaken by both the private and public sectors that incorporate the values of Sustainability."
This office plans and implements the city of Grand Rapids' efforts on sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and conservation. The site features information on energy, water, urban development, economic development, waste, climate, quality of life, and environment.
Renewable Portfolio Standards are adopted by individual states to assure a specified percentage of electricity demand is supplied from renewable energy sources. The requirement increases each year, but cannot include waste-to-energy facilities (incinerators) or high-head hydropower sources. The rules vary within each state, but the overall goal is the same: increase the use of renewable energy. In 2008, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm approved a 10% standard by 2015 in Michigan. In addition to the RPS, Governor Granholm also approved a Net Metering Law, requiring utilities to offer “true net metering” for systems 20 kW and under and “modified net metering” for systems 150 kW and under. For more information on Net Metering, please click here.
Washtenaw County has begun to incorporate sustainability into their education system, transportation system, businesses, and county planning.
Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
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