Powering Michigan Agriculture Conference: Farm influence on Michigan’s Clean Power Plan

The impact of Michigan agriculture in helping the state meet its carbon reduction goal will be discussed at the Powering Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy Conference.

Discarded fruits and vegetables used to produce biogas in a high-solids anaerobic digester. The biogas is burned to generate electricity. Photo credit: M. Charles Gould.

Discarded fruits and vegetables used to produce biogas in a high-solids anaerobic digester. The biogas is burned to generate electricity. Photo credit: M. Charles Gould.

The Clean Power Plan sets forth national standards that address carbon pollution from power plants. Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Each state is responsible to develop their own plan to reach the 32 percent mandated carbon reduction goal. State plans are due September 2016 and must contain specific steps for each tool in a portfolio of methods used to meet state-level goals: emissions trading, increasing energy efficiency on both supply and demand sides, shifting coal generation to natural gas generation, and increasing renewable power generation. All plans must be fully implemented by 2030.

On-farm renewable power generation and energy efficiency are two tools Michigan can use to meet its carbon emission reduction goal. From 2010-2014, Michigan farms that implemented energy audit-recommended energy conservation practices (231 farms) and renewable energy technologies (122 farms) experienced, on average, a 43 percent and 74 percent reduction in energy expenses respectively. A plan that included provisions to build on this existing effort could hasten farmer adoption of energy efficiency practices and renewable energy technologies; thereby shortening the time it takes for the State to meet its carbon reduction goal. Michigan farmers have a unique opportunity at the Powering Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy Conference to learn about the role they can play in Michigan’s Clean Power Plan.

There will be a variety of other sessions at the conference to help farmers learn about implementing renewable energy technologies on their farm. The conference will be held Thursday, March 10 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich. This daylong program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. The $35 registration fee for the conference includes lunch. Preregistration is preferred. Online registration closes March 6. More details about this conference and registration can be found online.

Questions about the conference can be directed to Charles Gould at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 616-994-4547 or Al Go at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-214-6128.

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