Do As The Michiganans Do

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Perhaps it’s time for California to take a leaf out of Michigan’s book when it comes to crawling out of the hole we like to call: the recession.

In an article in Capitol Weekly, they suggest just that the best solution won’t be fixing California’s problems one at a time, but tying them together, adhering public sector companies, private sector investments and university research.

This approach has been working in Michigan where the state established Centers of Energy Excellence to use the availability of raw materials to create lithium ion batteries, better battery technology and–perhaps most important–jobs…all at once. With a troubling budget crisis threatening to dismantle public education, almost 12% unemployment rate, and Occupy movements condemning growing economic disparities,  it’s arguable California can employ the same technique as Michigan but with solar energy.

California–the sunshine state–has a raw material of its very own…solar energy. Not only that, but solar energy is limitless, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. It could very well be a ray of hope for the California economy.

The state however, needs private investment in the solar energy field. Though the Bay Area already wields a number of solar energy companies, for this trifecta to work solar energy companies need to thrive state-wide. Though grants, tax credits and solar subsidies, California could entice more solar energy companies to set up forts throughout the state.

This funding won’t just go to any solar energy company, but specifically those who have secured the participation of California’s state schools. Involvement from state schools ensures continued solar energy research and growth. It also reiterates the importance of public education, educates tomorrow’s solar energy leaders, and validates the importance of funding public education whose budgets have all but run dry.

The intertwining of the public, private, and education sectors of the state might aid in California declaring solar energy standards for the future, and also help keep the state accountable for those goals as so many parties have a hand in these plans. These sectors are all struggling. Why not initiate a plan that can not only boost the economy, but stimulate environmentally safe and sustainable energy practices?

Hey, if Michigan can do it…