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Where will Michigan get its energy in 2030?

Jul 24, 2012
A proposed ballot initiative would require Michigan utilities to generate 25 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Opponents’ arguments against the plan include this curious one: It’s too ambitious. We have a renewable energy standard that requires 10 percent renewable electricity by 2015, the argument goes. We should let that law run its course before taking the next step.

What’s most disheartening about this argument is its implication that planning for our energy future more than 30 months ahead is too far-reaching.

The policies we adopt today will have a tremendous impact on our children, grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Whether it’s a coal plant, a wind farm or nuclear plants, our descendants will reap the benefits — or the consequences — of our decisions.

So let’s ask: What will Michigan’s electricity generation look like when today’s newborns are receiving high school diplomas? It’s impossible to predict what our energy mix will look like when those grads take the stage in 2030. But it is incumbent on us that we lay the groundwork for a smarter, more resilient mix of energy choices, based on what we know today.

Read the rest of MEC Communications Director Hugh McDiarmid's guest column on Bridge.
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