MI Sustainable Winegrowing Trip – Day 2

Sacramento was clouded in fog this morning. Typical to form that fog, which helps makes growing conditions ideal in Sonoma and Napa, receded by the time we arrived in Sonoma. Our meetings today revealed two keys insights; sustainable wine production, whether organic, biodynamic, or sustainable can improve farm practices, and that wineries’ commitment to holistic farming and…

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MI Sustainable Winegrowing Trip – Day 1

In our first day of meetings in California, our group was fortunate enough to absorb the perspective of individuals and organizations that have helped shaped sustainable winegrape growing throughout California. It became evident that public private partnerships, research and education, and integration of sustainability into business strategy have played a large role in the success…

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Michigan Sustainable Wine Goes Fact Finding

Through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council (MGWIC) has undertaken the Michigan Sustainable Wine Feasibility study, which is a significant step toward understand the long term social, environmental, and economic vitality of Michigan’s wineries and vineyards. The project will develop a deeper understanding of the wine industry’s relationship…

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New Report: Barriers to Advanced Energy in Michigan

The Institute for Energy Innovation has released a comprehensive report identifying the barriers that impede Michigan from joining leading states in accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy.  The paper explores trends in innovation in energy markets, regulatory paradigms and the improving performance and economics of advanced low-carbon energy technologies.  In addition to examining…

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Wind Works in Michigan

The wind industry has come a long way in Michigan and in the nation. From the passage of a comprehensive energy statute in 2008 that included Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, costs have dropped so that wind is now the cheapest generation option, and one of the cheapest additions to the generation fleet even without the federal…

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Can We Have a Conversation?

Now is the time to have a serious conversation about the future of Michigan’s energy system. In response to a projected shortfall in reserve capacity that may be as large as three gigawatts, the Michigan Public Service Commissioned has opened a “capacity” docket. Consumers Energy and DTE will be submitting information on February 17, 2015 explaining how they intend to deal with the projected shortfall. Michigan can learn from other states that are focusing on demand management and distributed energy resources as being the most efficient and cost-effective means of balancing supply with demand. They are reforming their energy vision and rethinking their power systems through planning collaboratives that assess emerging energy technologies and services, examine future trends, and bring the best energy expertise to the table.

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Michigan Energy Policy: Looking backward and looking forward.

2015 will be a watershed year for energy policy in Michigan – and few states will be watched as carefully by energy policy experts and interested observers.  The expiration of Michigan’s “10 x 2015” renewable energy mandate is framed by accelerating changes in energy markets, new federal regulatory requirements, the proliferation of disruptive new technologies…

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