Affordable, reliable, and clean energy is critical for human well-being. When energy is more affordable, it frees up money and time for families to spend their resources on the things that are important. With a competitive funding award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the State of Michigan created a roadmap to make energy efficiency and renewable energy more affordable to its residents.
To develop the roadmap, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) partnered with a nonprofit, NextEnergy, and Team Northeast Ohio. The goal was to accelerate the market competition within the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector by incorporating strategies for advanced energy clusters. Clusters are geographic concentrations of related companies, organizations, and institutions in a particular field. Strong industry clusters encourage productive collaboration and drive technology innovation through robust job markets and sustained private investment. Michigan sought to identify opportunities in advanced lighting and building controls clusters located within the state and in the northeast region of Ohio.
In 2008, Michigan set a goal for 35% of the state’s electric needs to be met with a combination of energy waste reduction and renewable energy by 2025. EGLE has been charged with developing programs and policies to meet this goal. The roadmap has resulted in three new programs: the Michigan Match Assistance Program, Clean Energy Business Development Pilot, and the Michigan Cleantech Product Launch Program. These programs help the state meet its energy goals, support clean energy businesses, promote waste reduction and innovation in manufacturing processes, and help small businesses move from clean technology prototypes to market deployment.
Michigan’s new roadmap and its successes exemplify the state’s commitment to reaching state-wide energy waste reduction and renewable energy goals. Assessing the clean energy technology industry’s foundation with the new roadmap is critical to create a pathway for success, investment, and innovation in the clean technology sector.
DOE’s State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state’s role as the decision maker and administrator for program activities within the state that are tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.