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Your Questions Answered: Electric Regulation & Renewables

What’s important to you is important to us when it comes to Michigan energy.

Among the many comments and questions we get from members of the AMP community, several common themes have emerged over the last few months, and we’ll be tackling those questions in the coming weeks here on the AMP blog.

We’re going to start with a question that combines two of AMP’s priority issues: electric regulation and renewable energy.  We’ve heard variations of this question from numerous people: “How will electric regulation impact integration of more renewable energy resources—like solar and wind farms or other clean energy production efforts?” 

Why Responsible Regulation Will Increase Renewable Energy Development in Michigan

Developing reasonable and responsible regulations for Michigan electric market will actually help increase development of our state’s renewable energy resources and move Michigan forward toward a brighter, more sustainable energy future. 

A well-regulated electricity market is a stable, predictable electricity market. The stable consumer base created by a responsible, regulated energy market will enable local energy producers to accurately forecast Michigan’s current and future energy needs—and therefore enable them to make infrastructure investments in energy sources like solar and wind with greater confidence.

As a result, wind, solar, and other low- or zero-emission energy options can be integrated into Michigan’s energy future strategically—in ways that won’t negatively impact affordability or reliability and that allow all Michiganders to benefit from them.

Building on Current Success

Considering the fact that Michigan’s local energy providers are by far the state’s largest investors in renewable energy, it makes sense that giving them the ability to better plan for Michigan’s energy needs would go hand in hand with encouraging further development of these resources.

As it stands, by the end of 2015—the deadline for fulfillment of the renewable energy standard (RES) set by the 2008 Michigan energy law—Michigan’s local energy companies will have invested nearly $3 billion in renewable energy projects, primarily wind and solar.

With a less volatile market, local energy providers can continue and increase these investments in the most cost-effective and efficient ways possible, minimizing the impact on and maximizing the benefit to Michigan energy consumers in both the short and long term. 

Compare these investments to those made by the out-of-state energy speculators that make up the 10% of Michigan’s electricity market that is deregulated—and you can decide which path is better for renewable development in our state. The answer is pretty obvious considering out-of-state energy companies have made little to no investment in Michigan’s energy infrastructure.

The Future of Renewables in Michigan

Renewable energy is an important part of Michigan’s energy future. To maximize the potential of wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable resources, Michigan needs a responsible regulated electricity market that allows Michigan energy producers to plan for their increasing use while also maintaining reliability and consumer fairness.

We love to hear from our dedicated members! Let us know your questions about Michigan’s energy issues today!