Eight years seems like a long time, but is it really? Michigan’s energy mix has changed dramatically since 2009 and continues to change as we close old, coal-fired plants, invest more in wind and solar power, and increase the role of natural gas.
The way we produce and consume energy will continue to change over the next several years, and it’s important that all Michiganders have a better understanding of where their energy comes from and how we can all use it more efficiently.
Of course, our energy future will be determined by more than guesswork. Our current energy mix provides some important indicators to show not just how our energy mix has changed so far, but also how it will continue to evolve. We know due to aging coal plants closing — and the cost of other types of energy sources like natural gas and renewables decreasing — that Michigan’s reliance on coal will continue to decline. Nine years ago, coal comprised approximately 66 percent of Michigan’s energy mix, but that has already dropped to 38 percent.
The AMP community also knows that natural gas is taking on a larger role in Michigan’s energy future. The NEXUS pipeline will not only provide more direct access to this energy source, but also bring additional jobs and economic opportunities to our state.
As renewable energy continues to develop and energy storage options for these sources of power continue to advance, renewables will also continue to increase their share of the energy mix.
A diverse and healthy balance of energy sources for Michigan will support a vibrant economy, dynamic job market, strong communities, and a secure energy future.