GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Fifty businesses and organizations from around the state met in Grand Rapids on Thursday to hash out the best approaches for switching to clean energy.

It was the first year the Michigan Climate Action Summit has met and director Kate Madigan says she hopes the meeting will help move Michigan to a cleaner future, faster. 

“We realized that a lot of people were doing different things about climate change or clean energy but weren’t really connected, so we wanted to make a space where everyone was able to know what everyone else was doing and collaborate better,” Madigan said. 

Currently, most of Michigan is being fueled by natural gas or coal. These are considered limited resources becasue they could someday run out.

Renewable energy is exactly what it sounds like: wind and solar power will never run out and could offer some big benefits for more than just businesses. 

According to Stanford University researchers, fully powering Michigan with renewable energy by 2050 would create nearly 150,000 jobs, save more than 1,700 lives per year and would save the average Michigander close to $11,000 annually in energy, health, and climate costs.  

Participents in Thursday’s summit want to get the word out that clean energy would be a boost for everyone from big businesses to rural farmers. 

Click or tap here to watch some of the presentations from the summit.