What’s Up in Lansing: Renewable Energy
In our previous posts in this series, we discussed how the various energy plans in Lansing tackle electric deregulation and energy efficiency. This week, we explore how these various proposals address renewable energy.
Governor Snyder’s Plan
Renewable energy plays a prominent role in Governor Snyder’s energy plan. The Governor believes that Michigan must diversify its energy supply to meet our future energy needs—and that we must get to work immediately so that Michigan can control its own energy future.
- During his recent energy address, the Governor gave a nod to the significant role natural gas plays in Michigan’s energy mix, but also highlighted how renewables would be “an important focus, even if they are intermittent.” It’s “good portfolio management,” the Governor continued, “because natural gas prices happen to be low right now, but they tend to be very volatile.”
- As we noted in last week’s blog post, Governor Snyder’s target goals over the next decade combine energy efficiency with renewables and natural gas. By 2025, the Governor seeks to have 30% to 40% of Michigan’s energy come from a mix of renewable energy, natural gas, and increased efficiency.
- Governor Snyder’s plan takes a flexible approach to Michigan’s future energy mix. The Governor seeks to develop a system that is nimble enough to adjust to changing energy needs and factors, such as resource costs and availability.
Committee Chair Plans—Nesbitt and Nofs
As noted last week, the chairmen of the major energy committees in the house and senate each have energy plans in the works that include renewable energy:
- Both Representative Nesbitt and Senator Nofs prefer long-term planning through Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) over the current state government mandates
- The Nesbitt plan would keep the current 10% renewable goal but expand the state’s definition of “renewable energy” to include other energy sources such as municipal waste.
- The Nofs plan focuses a “clean energy standard” that would credit utilities for decreasing current emissions through natural gas, nuclear and renewable generation.
Both of these approaches place a premium on providing affordable and reliable energy to Michigan businesses and consumers.
- The House and Senate minority parties have also introduced renewable energy legislation
- Their plan calls for an increase the current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This legislation would mandate a 20% RPS by 2022.
Renewable energy is an important factor in creating a bright energy future for Michigan. And to comply with new federal regulations, our state will need to focus on clean energy sources. As Michigan lawmakers crafted our state’s next set of energy policies, AMP will continue to highlight this important debate, and seek your input.
Have a question about current energy legislation in Michigan? Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org!