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The Pillars of a Michigan-focused Clean Energy Strategy

Michigan is on the right path to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future—one that makes sense for Michigan’s unique climate, geography, and economy.

Our bipartisan 2016 energy law ensures state policymakers, regulators, and local energy providers are putting in place a viable, long-term strategy to incorporate cleaner sources of energy into our state’s energy mix while protecting reliability, affordability, and fairness for all Michiganders.

The law includes some ambitious goals when it comes to increasing development of clean and renewable energy, including:

When it comes to delivering on a clean energy future, carbon reduction is the name of the game. And Michigan’s local energy providers are on track for an 80-percent reduction in carbon emissions —a goal that aligns with the recommendations of the global scientific community to address the impacts of climate change

What are Michigan’s Clean Energy Pillars?

  1. Expanding Renewables the Right Way

Renewable energy resources like wind, solar, and hydro already play an important role in keeping Michigan greener, and that role will increase in the future.

Local energy providers continue to be the largest investors in renewable energy in our state, developing wind farms and solar projects that make renewable energy available to everyone and help keep energy affordable for all consumers and businesses.

Energy from renewables is variable because the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow all the time.  Michigan isn’t California or Arizona, so it’s important to continue a Michigan-focused approach to renewables. But securing a clean energy future for all Michiganders means more than just using more renewables (see below).

  1. Energy Waste Reduction

Energy waste reduction has been integral to our clean energy strategy since then-Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Acts 341 and 342 into law. It’s even in the name—the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act.

Our 2016 energy law prioritizes energy waste reduction, maintaining the energy efficiency goals established under our previous energy law while updating and creating new requirements for local energy providers’ energy waste reduction programs. The new law requires a “continued annual energy savings through 2021 of 1% for electric providers and 0.75% for gas providers.”

Additionally, using demand response programs can assist in energy waste reduction. These programs aim to shift load away from peak hours towards hours where demand is lower. Former Michigan Energy innovation Business Council President, Liesl Eichler Clark, commented on demand response programs stating, “Managing how much energy is used and, as importantly, when it is used can drive significant savings for Michigan ratepayers.”

By reducing energy waste, can all help contribute to a cleaner, more reliable energy future for all Michiganders.

  1. Energy Efficiency 

    That brings us to energy efficiency. Becoming more energy efficient as a state—at home, in our businesses, in our schools, and throughout our communities—is vital to our clean energy strategy.

That’s why local energy providers provide a range of energy efficiency programs, rebates, and initiatives to help educate and engage consumers in becoming more energy efficient in their daily lives. And it’s working:

Implementing energy efficiency at home doesn’t take much—a few small changes can add up to big savings and an even bigger impact on our clean energy future.

  1. New 24/7 Energy Technologies 

    New and emerging technologies that allow Michigan to develop cleaner energy sources that are available 24/7 play just as important a role in our clean energy strategy as renewables and energy efficiency do.The new, state-of-the art natural gas plant DTE Energy is currently building in St. Clair County will incorporate the most advanced technologies to provide energy at a fraction of the carbon emissions as older, coal-fired power plants—and that’s just one example

As new technologies emerge, the flexibility of our state’s 2016 energy law—and the Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process it put in place—will allow Michigan to adapt and leverage these new innovations when it makes the most sense economically, environmentally, and based on our current energy needs.

We’ve talked about an all-of-the-above energy strategy for Michigan for a long time, and this is what that looks like. These pillars will keep Michigan on track toward a cleaner energy future in a way that best serves all the people of Michigan. Stay tuned to learn more about how these pillars guide our lawmakers to create and implement smart energy policies under the umbrella of the comprehensive 2016 law.