Strengthening Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard
Renewable energy is now cheaper than the traditional electricity sources that dominate Michigan. A 2012 Michigan Public Service Commission analysis showed that renewable energy prices are lower (91.19/MWh) than the price of electricity from a new conventional coal plant ($133/MWh). Successful implementation of the 25x2025 initiative will make this cheaper energy a bigger part of our energy mix, stabilizing rates and reducing the $1.8 billion Michiganders send out of state to buy coal each year. An analysis shows that the additional cost to residential ratepayers will be at most $15 per year ($1.25 per month). A cost cap provision in the ballot language limits rate increases due to the renewable energy standard to 1 percent annually. Twenty other states, including Great Lakes neighbors Illinois, Minnesota, and Iowa, have adopted similar measures without significant increases to their consumers’ utility costs.
Creating new jobs
Currently Michigan supports jobs in coal mining states by sending $1.8 billion every year to buy coal. We would like to see that money support in-state energy jobs in industries that support wind turbines, solar panel and energy efficiency systems. Michigan has a very strong manufacturing background. The proposal is one way to put our amazing talents to work by becoming one of the leaders in renewable energy. The proposal will give incentive to energy companies to use Michigan workers when building their new energy systems across the state.
Diversifying our energy
Michigan currently gets 60% of its electricity importing coal from out of state. The initiative will expand and diversify our energy sources and increase competition between coal, wind, solar and natural gas. By diversifying where our energy comes from, Michigan will have a steadier and more predictable future when it comes to energy and prices.
Protecting our health
Clean, renewable energy spurred by the 25x2025 initiative will help replace expensive, polluting, old coal-fired plants that harm public health by replacing them with clean energy systems. By transitioning away from coal plants we can greatly reduce the billions of dollars in annual cost to Michiganders in health care expenses and damages caused by those plants. A report commissioned by MEC showed that the state’s nine oldest coal plants cost an average family of four over $500 per year in healthcare expenses and damages including increased hospital admissions, treatments for asthma, and other cardiovascular or respiratory conditions and premature death. Reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that accelerate climate change is another benefit of phasing out coal-fired electric plants. Renewable energy can also reduce mercury pollution that poisons our Great Lakes fish and forces fish consumption advisories that harm Michigan’s fishing and restaurant industries.
For more information
- Download Report: 25% by 2025: The Impact on Utility Rates of the Michigan Clean Renewable Electric Energy Standard
- Download Report: Projected Job and Investment Impacts of Policy Requiring 25% Renewable Energy by 2025 in Michigan
- Download Report: Public Health Impacts of Old Coal-Fired Power Plants in Michigan
- Website: Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs
- From Union of Concerned Scientists:
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