The path to a clean energy economy is becoming increasingly clear in Michigan. Since Michigan’s 15% renewable portfolio standard was first established in 2016, our state has installed 4,200 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar power capacity, Consumers Energy has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, GM and Ford have announced they will go all-electric by 2030, and Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan has set a state goal of economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050.
Michigan’s clean energy standards have become a homegrown success story — sparking investment, improving air quality, and saving families and businesses money. Now, it is up to the Legislature to continue laying the groundwork for a renewable economy by 2050:
Building a Clean, Cost-Efficient, Reliable Grid
Wind and solar are quickly outcompeting coal and natural gas as Michigan’s lowest cost source of energy. Building clean energy resources improves grid resilience, reduces air pollution, saves Michiganders money on their energy bills, and helps fight climate change.
Distributed energy resources (rooftop solar, battery storage) are a leading strategy to improve grid resilience. Department of Energy.
Wind and solar generation will be cheaper than natural gas by 2024 and is already half the price of coal. Energy Information Administration.
Michigan spends $1.5 billion each year on air-pollution related healthcare costs. Ecology Center
Economists expect Michigan to spend $2 billion on damages related to climate disasters in the next 5 years. Bridge Michigan.
Policies to fight climate change and maintain grid reliability by bringing more renewables online:
Codify the MI Healthy Climate Plan to establish a just transition to a carbon free economy by 2050 and help build resilience to climate-related disasters.
Retire costly coal plants and encourage new investments in renewables by establishing a new, benchmarked renewable portfolio standard to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035. These goals are roughly in line with Consumers Energy’s most recent Integrated Resource Plan and the Governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan. DTE has yet to commit to these goals.
Foster neighborhood-scale grid reliability and resilience by removing the arbitrary 1% cap on rooftop solar, setting a policy framework for community solar, establishing neighborhood microgrids, and deploying more EVs with vehicle-to-grid capacity to use as a Plan B during widespread outages.
Streamline the energy siting process to ensure both small and utility-scale projects are brought online quickly and efficiently.
Energy Efficiency in MI Homes and Businesses
Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, and most quickly deployed source of energy capacity in the country. Weatherizing homes and businesses has saved Michiganders over $1.3 billion since 2016, protects our health, and creates jobs.
Customers save $4.35 for every $1 invested in energy efficiency.
— Michigan Public Service Commission
People in weatherized homes save $514 in out of pocket medical expenses each year.
— Department of Energy
Michigan employs 74,242 people in energy efficiency.
— Clean Jobs Midwest
Policies to improve energy efficiency:
Raise the annual energy efficiency standard to 2% for electric utilities and 1.5% for natural gas; incentivize utilities to push towards 4% in combined energy efficiency and electrification.
Create a scale, statewide deep-energy retrofits program – coordinate federal, state, and private sources of funding in line with the MI Healthy Homes initiative.
Invest a higher percentage of federal energy assistance dollars (at least 10%) into energy efficiency programs.