Monday, October 06, 2008

Got RPS? Granholm Signs Energy Legislation

Sweet. I'm waiting for them to change the map at the Pew Center.

Governor is running around the state today for signing ceremonies - one at NextEnergy in Detroit, the other at Dowding Industries, an Eaton Rapids manufacturer of wind turbine components. Bring on the jobs.

Granholm has argued that an RPS is essential for Michigan's economic future, because it will drive investment in this emerging industry. Venture capital firms and green energy manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in expanding capacity, but they generally invest only in states that have an RPS.

Two recent studies identified the tremendous job-creating package this type of policy can have for Michigan. The U.S. Department of Energy found that Michigan is one of only four states with the potential to create more than 30,000 manufacturing jobs in wind production alone, while the Center for American Progress estimates that Michigan can create more than 60,000 jobs by investing in wind, solar, biofuels and energy efficiency.

The American Wind Energy Association has a problem with the slow rate at which we arrive at the 10% by 2015 - but as the Oakland Business Review points out, perception is everything. The fact that the RPS exists at all is crucial to job development.

But having spoken to many people in the alternative energy industry, I get the sense that green entrepreneurs aren't so much concerned by all the nitty-gritty sausage-making behind the new law, however ugly. They're more concerned simply that we get on the same train with the more than half the states in adopting a renewable portfolio standard that guarantees some kind of market for their products.

MIRS has also been on this weird crusade lately to try to disprove the numbers set forth by Granholm and MEDC when it comes to job creation and/or wind production. They make it clear that they have spent the "last several months" and "literally hours of research and interviews", as if they should be canonized for their journalistic martyrdom or something, trying to verify what are essentially professional estimates of these numbers - but it sure looks like it's a pointed attempt to...

What? Trash Michigan's marketing techniques? Attack the governor? Discourage job creation? They even pull out the "sources are afraid of retribution" line that the Senate Republicans tried to use when they wouldn't reveal why they were obstructing the Pobur appointment. Pretty strange stuff.

Note to MIRS: These are estimates. Everyone knows that. When you do weird shit like this, it starts to look like maybe someone out there wants to discourage Michigan from getting involved in alternative energy...

Just thought I'd mention it.

Anyway, we have our RPS, and that is a great piece of news to receive in the midst of all this economic turmoil. Historic day.