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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Energy challenges and alternatives

With autumn in the air, winter close behind, and global warming concerns on many Michigander's minds, there is much to consider in terms of Michigan's energy resources. Let's take a look at the outlook for energy consumption and costs this winter as well as the alternative and renewable energy sources.

The Environment Report has a feature this week entitled The Direction of U.S. Energy Policy. GLRC reporter Stephanie Hemphill writes:

Americans are thinking more about energy. We're facing higher prices. There's worry about climate change, and there are questions about whether our need for foreign oil is forcing the country into wars in the Middle East. Even former oilman President Bush says we have to kick our addiction to oil, but what's the government doing about it?
Looking closer to home, The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth summarizes Winter 2006-2007 Energy Appraisal as follows:
The outlook this winter suggests that energy supplies in Michigan will be adequate to meet anticipated demand. Compared to last winter natural gas prices for home heating will be 12 percent lower. Of course, weather that is colder, or warmer, than last year will affect actual monthly savings. Motorists have also seen a substantial drop in the price of gasoline due to lower crude oil prices and declines in usage over the last year.
Michigan is a leader in alternative and renewable energy efforts. On the campus of Grand Valley State University, The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) is
the first fully integrated demonstration facility for distributed generation of electricity using alternative and renewable energy technologies in the United States.
The Michigan Energy Demonstration Centers is
(a)n exciting group of energy demonstration centers located around the state (d)esigned to highlight energy efficient and renewable energy resources
Institutions across the state are installing alternative energy sources. According to the Traverse City Light & Power website, last Saturday a solar power system for the local community college was dedicated. They write in their press release (Sept. 27):
Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and Traverse City Light & Power (L&P) will celebrate the opening of the largest commercial solar power system in northern Michigan on Saturday, October 7, which is "National Solar Tour Day" and the concluding day of "Public Power Week" (when more than 2,000 electric utilities who provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis are recognized).
Read THE DIRECTION OF U.S. ENERGY POLICY by The Environment Report
Visit MI Department of Labor & Economic Growth's Michigan Energy Appraisal website
Also visit MAREC (The Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center)
Also visit Michigan Energy Demonstration Centers
Read L&P and NMC to Dedicate New Solar Power System Saturday, Oct. 7 by TCLP
Finally, view the results of Absolute Michigan keyword search 'energy' (type any word into that top right box: food, hiking, boat, etc.)

# posted by Tami @ 8:21 AM
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