Democrats’ Proposal to Strengthen Michigan’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Standards Is an Important Step Forward, but State Could Go Further with Renewables

Statement by Sam Gomberg, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Published Apr 23, 2015

Chicago (April 23, 2015) - This morning, Michigan Democrats introduced their proposal to strengthen the state’s renewable energy standard from its current 10 percent by 2015 to 20 percent by 2022. The proposal would also double the amount of energy efficiency that utilities must achieve each year to 2 percent for electric utilities and 1.5 percent for natural gas providers.

“It’s encouraging to see Michigan’s Democratic caucus so strongly in support of strengthening the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards,” said Sam Gomberg, UCS’s lead Midwest energy analyst. “Michigan’s current renewable energy standard has delivered cost-effective renewable energy to power Michigan’s economy while the state’s efficiency standard is saving Michiganders more than 3 dollars for every dollar invested in energy savings,” Gomberg continued. “Michigan democrats are right to focus on maintaining the state’s momentum towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy supply. However, analysis by the Michigan Public Service Commission and UCS shows the state can cost-effectively supply 30 percent or more of its electricity from renewable energy resources. Twenty percent renewable energy by 2022 is certainly a move in the right direction, but Michigan could go even further and would reap significant economic, environmental and public health benefits in the process.”