Snyder Embraces Renewables, Efficiency to Cut Michigan’s Reliance on Coal
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder introduced an energy scenario earlier this month that calls for the state to meet 30 to 40% of its electricity needs with renewables and efficiency by 2025.
“You can’t have all renewables, most likely, because you have a base load question,” Snyder said, but efficiency alone should be sufficient to offset 15% of electricity demand. “There is no better answer for affordability, reliability, and environmental outcomes than that piece.”
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The plan could reduce coal from 54% to 34% of the state’s total generation.
“We are encouraged to see the Governor release numeric goals for renewable energy and reducing energy waste,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “But we need to see action on a plan that turns these goals into law and builds upon the success we’ve seen in Michigan.” Snyder’s announcement did not include any increase in Michigan’s 10% renewable energy mandate.
Snyder’s announcement came at a time when electricity shortages could hit a state that is “traditionally fueled by coal and known for its inefficiency,” UtilityDIVE reports.
“The reliance on coal is one factor behind the state’s precarious energy landscape. Ten plants are scheduled to be retired as new federal regulations on air toxins like mercury and dioxins force older, less-efficient facilities offline,” notes reporter Robert Walton. “Combined with the state’s partially deregulated retail market, the situation has Michigan potentially facing a three-gigawatt energy shortfall next year.”
“In the past few years we’ve made tremendous progress on Michigan’s energy policy,” Snyder said in his address. “But there is a big problem. It’s really simple, and it’s called coal.”