Status of Solar Power in Michigan

The single most important thing we could do for solar power in Michigan is remove the cap on net metering.

Michigan’s solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the state accounting for over 10,000 jobs. This could double in the next two years if we just get out of the way. Michigan’s inconsistent solar policies are keeping solar installers from investing in new employees, trucks, buildings, leases, advertising, equipment and more.

The solar industry has been fighting the utility company lobbing efforts for the last several years. Initially, it had been to keep a fair net metering policy. Now they have to fight the utilities against the .5% cap on residential net metering. This .5% cap allows the utility companies to limit their residential customer to only enough solar to offset ½ of 1% off the utility company’s load. Continue reading “Status of Solar Power in Michigan”

100% Renewable, Really?

Can a city actually run on 100% renewable electricity? Well, yes. We know this because some cities are already doing it. The particulars will be different for each city. The resources available will differ, as will the timeline and the public’s understanding of the benefits of renewable and the disadvantages of fossil and nuclear fuels.

Here’s a short film that takes 14-1/2 minutes to explore one city that has done it:

Solar Power in Michigan

Solar Power in Michigan” is the topic for the local Sierra Club program for Thursday, May 4, 2017. It’s free and open to the public; any interested person can attend. The location is the Elks Lodge, 2401 E. 4th St., Royal Oak, MI (at the corner of 4th St. & SB I-75 Service Drive, South of 11 Mile Rd.). From 6:30-7:00, snacks & socializing; announcements from 7:00-7:10; the presentation starts at 7:10.

This meeting will feature a three-person panel with deep practical experience of solar power in Michigan. The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club is partnering with Michigan Solar Solutions, Solar Winds and McNaughton-McKay Electric Company to help Michigan Sierra Club members and supporters make their homes solar-powered! The partnership means these carefully vetted, qualified, residential solar-power installers and providers of the highest quality solar products can help move you into the clean energy column. Read more about this at https://sierrasemg.wordpress.com/your-own-solar-power/. Continue reading “Solar Power in Michigan”

How Many Flints?

At least 3000, according to one report that is referenced in Farron Cousins’ summary of America’s water crisis. That is, there are at least 3000 places in America, cities or neighborhoods in larger cities, where the measured levels of lead in drinking water is at least double the levels measured in Flint.

Flint was indeed the event that brought public attention to lead poisoning, but the issue is much, much more widespread. This particular information comes from an extensive and well-illustrated article published by Reuters.

As bad as that is, it’s just part of the bad news. America has about 1.2 million miles of lead water service lines. They have a service life of about 75 years, and most are at or approaching that age. The estimate to replace – around $1 trillion, or close to $3000 for every man, woman and child in the country.

But wait, there’s more. Continue reading “How Many Flints?”

Renewable Electricity Growing Rapidly

But here, not so much. Michigan is way below average in the generation of renewable electricity, which is described in detail by a very worthwhile article in Renewable Energy World.

Below are a few significant excerpts from the article: Continue reading “Renewable Electricity Growing Rapidly”