Earlier this month, the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) submitted comments to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Council on Climate Solutions’ draft MI Healthy Climate Plan. The RTC applauds Michigan’s commitment to achieve 100% economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 and values the effort and resources the state and its residents have committed to the task.
Industry produces 22% of Michigan’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so the state must address this tranche of emissions to achieve its carbon neutrality goal. While many large industrial energy users have set ambitious, science-based GHG emissions reduction targets and are investing in energy efficiency and renewable electricity to meet them, scalable, cost-effective solutions to address thermal energy emissions from process and other on-site heating and cooling needs are not widely available.
Renewable thermal technology development and deployment can support Michigan’s efforts to achieve its carbon neutrality goal. Supporting varied renewable thermal technologies will be important to meet the wide range of specific temperature needs in industrial processes. Some states have already taken action to support renewable thermal energy, using policy tools including research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D), financial incentives, performance standards or targets, acknowledging environmental impacts, procurement programs, and comprehensive planning. The RTC offered our 2021 report, Low-Carbon Renewable Thermal Technology Solutions: Policies to Support Development and Deployment, as a resource to learn more about the types of policies found at the state level.
Michigan is already working diligently to tackle the climate change problem head on. Including a comprehensive industrial decarbonization plan that incorporates renewable thermal technology solutions in the MI Healthy Climate Plan would help the state to realize deep decarbonization across the economy.
To learn more about the RTC and its work, contact Blaine Collison at Blaine@dgardiner.com.