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State Seeks Comment On Report Backing More Michigan Renewable Energy

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LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John D. Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal Friday issued a draft report on renewable energy in Michigan and said they’re seeking public comment on it.

The report is online at http://www.michigan.gov/energy.

A renewable energy industry trade group praised the report and it said Michigan is ready to build more wind and solar power installations.

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council said the report showed that Michigan could boost its so-called Renewable Portfolio Standard without sacrificing electric reliability. Current state RPS law calls for all electric utilities in the state must generate 10 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015.

The council is made up of companies and institutions in advanced materials, batteries and energy storage, biomass, energy efficiency, lighting, smart grid, solar, transportation and wind, and includes companies engaged in energy innovation, production, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and energy research and development.

The trade group said that the report shows that renewable energy is cheaper than almost all other generation options — in fact, technological advances have cut the cost of wind generation in Michigan in half over the five years the RPS has been in place.

The group said Michigan could meet an RPS of 30 percent by 2035 while cutting in half the cost caps included in the 2008 legislation

“Today’s draft report highlights many of the points Michigan advanced energy businesses have been making over the last year,” Mi-EIBC President Dan Scripps said in a statement. “Renewable energy in Michigan is cost-effective and the amount of renewable energy we produce in Michigan can be significantly increased at less cost and with no impact on reliability.”

Quackenbush and Bakkal said the report is the first of four that are part of an effort announced last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to secure Michigan’s energy future. The report is the product of testimony from hundreds of people at public forums held around the state and comments on the state’s websites.

Public comments on the draft report may be made until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the report Web site. The target date for release of the final renewable energy report is Nov. 4.

In a message on energy and the environment last year, Snyder called for what he termed a “no regrets” energy policy that combines reliability, affordability, and environmental protection.

The other three reports in the series called for under the message will be on energy efficiency, electric choice, and all other areas of energy policy. More about the reports at this link.

Mi-EIBC actively participated in the data gathering process that was called for in Governor Snyder’s energy message, and compiled their data responses in a May 2013 report entitled “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions.”

“As Michigan looks to the future, Michigan’s advanced energy industry is confident it can continue to produce competitively priced renewable energy that meets Michigan’s energy needs,” said Scripps. “The costs of renewable energy will continue to drop and economic opportunities for Michigan will continue to grow.”

The draft report can be viewed at this link.

The Mi-EIBC Report, “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions,” can be viewed at this link.

More about Mi-EIBC at http://www.mieibc.org.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, http://www.michigan.gov/lara.

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