Why Generating Energy Locally Matters for Michigan
Having the ability to supply our own energy gives Michigan greater control over our own energy future.
For one thing, it’s just not smart to become overly reliant on other states’ energy leftovers. An energy-independent Michigan is one that is able to meet its own energy needs. There’s only so much power we can import from other states, so we risk finding ourselves without the power we need to supply all Michigan homes and businesses, especially during peak use times.
Why can we only import so much power from other states?
- Lack of capacity. Hundreds of coal-fired power plants will be closing across the Midwest over the next five years. With the entire region facing diminished capacity, there will be less power to go around. Michigan needs to gets smart, and get moving, on building our own generating capacity.
- The physical limitations of Michigan’s transmission system. As a peninsula—and given the configuration of our state’s electric grid—Michigan’s transmission capacity (the amount of electricity we can transmit through our energy delivery system) is limited. The best way to replace the capacity we are losing is not by trying to import more electricity from out-of-state—it is by planning and building out our generation capabilities locally.
- Cost and efficiency. Moving electricity long distances is inefficient by its very nature. Long-distance energy transmission comes with higher costs for consumers that get factored into utility rates, and also results in greater energy waste. Even transmitting electricity between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas has been found to be less efficient and more costly for consumers than building out local generation for the UP would be. Producing our energy locally will be inherently more efficient—and cost-effective—than rerouting it from out-of-state sources.
Improving our energy infrastructure will help ensure reliability for all Michigan energy consumers, now and for years to come—and being able to generate our own power is the only solution that really gives Michigan control of its own energy future.
We need a Michigan-first energy policy in place as soon as possible to encourage investment in local energy generation and a secure Michigan energy future.