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Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy in Michigan

Renewable energy is already an important part of Michigan's energy mix. However, the role of renewable energy resources will continue to grow as we retire older, coal-fired generation facilities and work as a state to meet federal emissions regulations introduced by the EPA in 2015.

The challenge for Michigan is ensuring we can continue to integrate renewable energy into our energy mix in responsible ways. When considering how to do this, Michigan must consider a few key questions:

  • How do we ensure renewable energy is as efficient and cost-effective as possible?
  • How do we incorporate renewables in a way that maintains energy reliability?
  • How do we make sure renewable energy benefits all Michiganders and not just a select few?

With the right policies, including how we choose to encourage the development of renewable energy, we can continue to grow our renewable capabilities smartly and responsibly.

Renewable Resources in Michigan

Our state is making progress on a number of renewable energy development efforts.

Two of the major players are wind and solar power, but there are a number of other, more experimental renewable resources being developed right here in Michigan.

Wind Energy

Abundant and clean, wind energy is fast becoming a key part of our state's energy mix.

Wind Power in Michigan

  • Since 2008, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy have invested billions in developing Michigan wind energy.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, wind energy costs dropped 43 percent in Michigan.

Learn more about wind energy.

Solar Power

Solar energy is also on the rise in Michigan. Local energy providers are investing tens of millions of dollars in creating large-scale solar energy products that are helping make this energy source more available for all Michiganders.

In fact, these large-scale solar projects are providing an array of benefits—from lower costs to decreased emissions. Read more.  

As a result, prices are dropping for this clean energy source. The key to growing solar in smart ways is the right energy policy—and the right approach to tapping into this natural resource. Read more about that here.

Other Renewable Energy Developments

In addition to wind and solar, Michigan is at the forefront in exploring other forms of renewable energy, including:

  • Anaerobic Digesters. The small West Michigan city of Lowell plans to use anaerobic digestion—during which microorganisms break down biodegradable material to produce energy—to draw energy from farms and a large food-processing plant. Michigan State University's Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center is also conducting research on anaerobic digestion.
  • Biomass. There is a growing movement to increase the use of biomass power in Michigan. Biomass is essentially fuel derived from organic materials, including wood from dead trees, yard clippings, wood chips and even municipal solid waste. Through either thermal or chemical conversion, these materials are able to be processed and converted to energy.
  • Hydro Power.  Michigan also has a small, but significant, hydro power sector. Roughly 100 of the 2,500 dams in Michigan are used to produce about 400 megawatts of electricity for Michiganders. That's roughly 1.5 percent of our state's energy needs. The Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, for example, produces "enough power to serve about 1.4 million homes."

Whatever path Michigan takes to reach its energy future, renewable energy sources will play a vital role in ensuring it is a cleaner, more sustainable one. What matters most is that we incorporate renewables in a smart way that ensures fairness, protects reliability, and provides access for all Michiganders.