New Study Highlights Current, Future Economic Impact of Clean Energy in Michigan

Hill Group report, commissioned by Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, examines job creation and state’s clean energy landscape over the next decade

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF) today released a report by The Hill Group that studies the economic impact of Michigan’s clean energy laws, and begins to quantify future impact on jobs and economic development resulting from possible changes to the state’s energy policies. The report, “Growing Michigan’s Economy & Jobs: Economic Impact of Renewable Energy, 2017-2027” considers capital investments, jobs created, wages and benefits, and other economic impacts to analyze the effects of three scenarios, including the current 15% renewable portfolio standard that was signed into law in 2016.

The release of the report follows shortly after announcements from the state’s two investor-owned utilities about ambitious long-term goals for clean energy deployment in Michigan.

“With this report we sought to quantify the impact of Michigan’s rapidly evolving energy landscape,” said Ed Rivet, executive director of MCEF. “Given the current trajectory of renewable development, as well as the falling prices of—and public demand for—clean energy sources, and even utility announcements of long-term clean energy goals, what could the energy landscape look like in a decade? Turns out, Michigan’s energy—and economic—future is bright.”

“Investing in Michigan’s energy generation system will power the economy as much as it will power the grid,” said Jordan Pallitto, vice president of The Hill Group. “This research has helped attach tangible numbers to the policies Michigan has enacted, and reflects the vast economic potential that can be had if the state continues on this path toward more Michigan-based energy production.”

The report analyzes the impact of developing clean energy resources in-state, rather than meeting targets by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits. Key findings of the report include:

  • Meeting the 12.5% by 2019 interim target as required by law should result in over 20,000 job-years supported, $1.4 billion in employee compensation, and a gross economic impact of $3.8 billion.
  • By meeting the 2021 standard of 15% renewable energy, the cumulative effect for Michigan’s economy will have reached over 32,500 job-years supported, with $2.2. billion in employee compensation, and $6.3 billion in gross economic impact.
  • The cumulative effect of achieving 30% renewables by 2027 would be over 68,500 job-years supported, with $4.5 billion in employee compensation, and $10.3 billion in economic impact.

Renewable energy companies in Michigan are growing fast and are poised to take advantage of the increasing demand for clean energy and greater market access to consumers.

“The costs of solar technology have fallen so dramatically over the past decade that large-scale solar farms are now cost-effective in states at Northern latitudes,” said Kevin Borgia, Midwest policy director for Cypress Creek Renewables. “Our proposed investments in Michigan are all across the state, in the lower and upper peninsulas, in Consumers Energy and DTE territories, in rural and urban areas alike. We look forward to working with Michigan utilities to make solar development a reality to the benefit of all Michiganders.”

Rivet added: “100% of the coal we currently use to generate electricity is imported from out of state. We would like to see Michigan dollars stay in Michigan, stimulating our local economies, growing our businesses, and providing for our families. By developing the renewable energy resources that are abundant right here in Michigan, we can bring jobs to our state and boost our economy. This report demonstrates that moving beyond the current targets, even taking the most aggressive approach to developing in-state renewable generation up to 30% by 2027, will be a jobs and economic growth engine that could make Michigan a destination state. Not only will there be good-paying and high-tech jobs to keep our children from leaving the state, but we can become a magnet for top talent and investments, helping us better compete within the region.”


About MCEF: The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is an organization comprised of conservatives who believe that Michigan should adopt a true “All of the Above” energy policy that includes an increase in our commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency. MCEF believes encouraging diverse and clean energy production and reduced energy waste will create jobs and stimulate Michigan’s economy, reduce our reliance on foreign energy, improve our national security, and protect our valuable natural resources.