Renewable energy advocate sees growth opportunity

April 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

In a sense, T. Arnold Boezaart’s life has been aimed at becoming a Michigan Green Leader from the very start.

“I have a natural interest in this area, and it goes back to my early days of education,” Boezaart said. His undergraduate major at Michigan State University, in multidisciplinary science, gave him the background to understand the various hard science and social sciences that are all part of the alternative and renewable energy he’s championed.

Boezaart is head of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University. MAREC was established in 2003 as a Michigan Smart Zone, with a focus on education, research and development, technology and business incubation for alternative and renewable energy.

Under him, MAREC has had a hand in the development of almost every area of Michigan’s alternative energy industry, including nurturing fledgling energy businesses, educating the public, fostering research and development and helping develop new technology in this field.

Researchers at the center have worked in such areas as bioenergy, which is primarily using farm waste, and battery technology for Michigan’s electric car industry. They are now studying offshore wind energy.

“I see renewable energy as a sector, as a field, that could bring tremendous manufacturing and business development and growth for Michigan, for the next generation,” Boezaart said.

As for the Green Leaders award, Boezaart insisted he didn’t win it alone.

“I share this with many people who have traveled this journey with me,” Boezaart said. “This kind of recognition is never the result of solo efforts.”

Contact Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki: 586-826-7278 or mmwalsh@freepress.com

More Details: T. Arnold Boezaart

Executive director, Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, Grand Valley State University.

What the leader does: Leads MAREC’s efforts in promotes education, research and technology related to sustainable industry.

Information: www.gvsu.edu/marec

Judges’ comment: “T. Arn Boezaart is one of West Michigan’s most innovative, articulate and collaborative environmental leaders.”

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