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New Investments Show Promise for Improving Sustainability

Anaerobic digestion is one of the more interesting approaches to producing sustainable energy through renewable resources—and efforts to develop it are taking place here in Michigan.  

According to the American Biogas Council, anaerobic digestion produces energy through “a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen.”  This breakdown of organic waste material produces clean-burning biogas that can help generate electricity.

While not yet as cheap or available as Michigan-produced wind energy, as technology changes, anaerobic digestion could become a sustainable part of Michigan’s energy mix. 

Support for Anaerobic Digesters Growing in Michigan

Check out this recent article from The Grand Rapids Business Journal describing how the small West Michigan city of Lowell plans to use anaerobic digestion to draw energy from farms and a large food-processing plant there

Important research on anaerobic digestion is also being conducted at Michigan State University’s Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center.  The Center provides a platform for multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-national collaborations that develop sustainable waste-to-resource solutions to address current and future waste management challenges.  In fact, local energy provider Consumers Energy has developed its new farm anaerobic digester program in collaboration with MSU and Michigan’s agricultural community.

Diversifying Our State’s Energy Portfolio

Michigan’s leading electric utilities plan to invest $15 billion in new infrastructure, and the leading resource for the foreseeable future will be natural gas.   However, investments in emerging technologies like anaerobic digestion attest to the high priority Michigan and our local energy providers place on diversifying the state’s energy portfolio to ensure we can continue to meet our own energy needs far into the future.

To secure Michigan’s energy future, we need reliable, in-state energy production, and no one source will be adequate for meeting our growing energy needs and keeping electricity reliable and affordable while also improving our energy efficiency and sustainability.   

Smart Energy Policies Are Critical to Our Energy Future

Our energy policies need to help us meet all the needs we as Michiganders must balance: a strong economy, preservation of our natural resources, continued innovation, and reliability and fairness for all consumers. They can do so by promoting investment in our communities and state economy and providing the kind of stability that will support long-term planning and development.

Do you support these types of investments in creating a more sustainable energy future for Michigan?  Let us know your thoughts.