Michigan Wind Energy Support, See-Through Solar, and Scrap Tire Roads

For Aug. 22, 2014 –


1A majority of Michigan officials support wind energy.

sunset through windows
Credit: Sarah Reid.

And, they support adding wind turbines in their communities to generate renewable energy.

In the fall of 2013, the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy surveyed local leaders from more than 1,300 Michigan counties, cities, townships, and villages. The questions were about their governments’ experience with and attitudes toward wind energy.

Seventy nine percent of local government officials surveyed said they support additional land-based wind energy in Michigan. Fifty three percent say they would support adding wind turbines in their areas.

Local support for wind energy was highest, at 75 percent, in jurisdictions where large utility-scale turbines are already spinning, according to the Center’s report.

The survey had a margin of error of 1.4 percentage points.

Michigan is nearing a deadline to generate 10 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015.


2These solar panels are clearly better.

A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed transparent solar panels. That is, a solar concentrator that when placed over a window will still allow you to see through the window.

It’s called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface, according to a news release.

The solar system uses small organic molecules developed by the researchers to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight.

Light is guided to the edge of concentrator where it is converted to electricity by thin strips of photovoltaic solar cells.

While the technology is at an early stage, it has the potential to be scaled to commercial or industrial applications with an affordable cost.

The research was featured in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Optical Materials.


3Scrap tires are being reused for Michigan road projects — rather than being buried, burned, or harboring mosquitoes.

Grants for road projects that reuse scrap tires have been awarded to Saginaw County and Vassar.

Saginaw County will receive about $128,000, while Vassar will receive about $35,000.

The grants are part of $2.5 million in funding awarded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

The money will go to Rubber Modified Asphalt projects that mix rubber into asphalt. This mix provides advantages over traditional asphalt, including decreased road noise and improved friction. The DEQ says roads using Rubber Modified Asphalt also last longer, reducing future paving costs.


— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.


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