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MI Public Service Commission: Renewables Less Expensive than Coal, Spark Economy February 23, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), Uncategorized.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

CONTACT: Heather Kevnick (517) 333-1606 or mieibc@mieibc.org

www.mieibc.org

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New report shows renewable energy standard creates jobs; utilities on track to meet RES

LANSING – A Michigan Public Service Commission report shows Michigan’s renewable energy standard is directly sparking Michigan’s economy, generating $100 million in investments, spurring manufacturing and business growth, and creating jobs, the Energy Innovation Business Council said today. The report also shows that renewable energy now costs less than coal.

Read the full report at http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc.

“Michigan manufacturers and businesses see firsthand how a renewable energy standard drives economic growth, innovation, investments and job creation, and this report validates the need for a strong renewable energy standard,” said Jeff Metts, CEO of Astraeus Wind, a manufacturing company based in Eaton Rapids. “Other states are aggressively pursuing strategies to grow their renewable energy and manufacturing sectors. Michigan must roll up our sleeves and aggressively position ourselves to compete for new opportunities and jobs, or get left behind.”

The MPSC report on the RES enacted in 2008 included the following highlights:

  • Michigan’s current RES generated more than $100 million in investments on advanced energy projects between 2008-2011, many of them directly impacting Michigan businesses and workers
  • All renewable energy sources cost significantly less than coal per megawatt/hour, with renewables costing an average of $91.19/MWh, lower than the $133/MWh for a new coal plant.
  • Michigan is on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015

The MPSC report went on to say: “Michigan has the potential to become a regional leader in development and manufacturing of renewable energy systems, building on the state’s engineering expertise, modernized machining, and investment in renewable energy in coming years. It appears that the Michigan incentive REC (renewable energy credits) provision in the standard is meeting its intended purpose to encourage developers to maximize the amount of Michigan equipment and labor.”

Additionally, Mlive.com reported Feb. 16 that Consumers Energy significantly lowered its renewable energy charge from $2.50 to only 65 cents a month because renewable energy costs continue to decrease.

While the MPSC report says Michigan is on track to meet the RES by 2015, only around 3.6 percent of Michigan’s electricity currently comes from renewables. In comparison, 21 percent of Iowa’s electricity already comes from renewables. In addition, neighboring Midwest states such as Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota have renewable energy standards higher than Michigan’s.

“Michigan’s renewable energy sector is providing solid financial, social and ecological values for Michigan because of our renewable energy standard. Michigan utilities that are investing in advanced energy such as wind and solar deserve full credit for embracing the future and creating new economic opportunities,” said Rich Vander Veen, president of Mackinaw Power in Lowell. “The MPSC report shows a renewable energy standard establishes energy security and makes good economic sense for Michigan businesses and ratepayers. New wind farms are providing solid income to local communities and landowners, and this helps protect family farms for future generations.”

“Michigan’s advanced energy manufacturing companies are retooling, our workers are retraining and we are rebuilding our economy, thanks to positive programs such as our renewable energy standard,” said EIBC President Ed Clemente. “Michigan is showing the world that we are once again a great place for innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing. The MPSC report demonstrates how advanced and renewable energy can diversify our economy, bring new opportunities for business and move us forward.”

Earlier this month, the EIBC released a study showing Michigan’s advanced energy manufacturing sector – solar, wind, advanced energy storage and batteries, and biomass – generates $5 billion a year in economic activity and supports 20,500 jobs a year. The study is one of the first of its kind in the nation because it used real-world manufacturing data.

About the Energy Innovation Business Council

Global, national and statewide demand for clean, renewable sources of energy continues to grow – and Michigan has the resources to become a significant contributor to this growing new energy economy.

The Energy Innovation Business Council is a trade organization made up of Michigan companies and businesses that are at the forefront of this important sector. Our members are engaged in clean energy manufacturing and other areas of the new energy economy that is creating opportunities and jobs for Michigan.

Launched in 2012 as a voluntary membership organization, EIBC is excited to invite all Michigan businesses interested in the clean energy economy to join the council. Together, EIBC can be an even stronger advocate for clean energy innovation, entrepreneurship, opportunities and jobs.

The EIBC aims to diversify and accelerate the growth of Michigan’s energy sector and create partnerships to expand business opportunities, secure access to capital, engage the public and policymakers, advocate and build consensus for policy, and advance energy innovation with the goal of generating jobs and economic development.

Website: www.mieibc.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MIEIBC

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mi_eibc

Michigan Public Service Commission

Report on the implementation of the P.A. 295 renewable energy standard

and the cost-effectiveness of the energy standards

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MPSC REPORT

  • Michigan’s current RES generated more than $100 million in investments on advanced energy projects between 2008-2011. (p. 18)
  • All renewable energy sources cost significantly less than coal per megawatt/hour, with renewables costing an average of $91.19/MWh, lower than the $133/MWh for a new coal plant. (p. 22, p. 25-26)
    • The actual cost of renewable energy contracts submitted to the MPSC to date shows a downward pricing trend. This was the case as of the filing of this report in February 2011 and continues to be the case as the two most recent contracts approved by the MPSC for new wind capacity have levelized costs of $61-$64/MWh. (p.24)
    • Based on contract pricing trends, MPSC anticipates that the cost of renewable energy will continue to decline. (p. 26)
  • Michigan is on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015. (p.28)
    • By the next MPSC biennial review in 2013, electric providers will have made significant progress toward securing all the renewable energy necessary for compliance with the Act.  (p. 9)
    • Progress toward the first compliance year in 2012 and the 10 percent renewable energy standard in 2015 is going smoothly. (p. 28)
  • A benefit of the additional investment, manufacturing, installation, administration and development of clean and renewable energy has been job creation. (p. 18)

“Michigan has the potential to become a regional leader in development and manufacturing of renewable energy systems, building on the state’s engineering expertise, modernized machining, and investment in renewable energy in coming years. It appears that the Michigan incentive REC (renewable energy credits) provision in the standard is meeting its intended purpose to encourage developers to maximize the amount of Michigan equipment and labor.” MPSC report, 2/15/2012, p. 20.

New renewable capacity by technology type

Includes all renewable energy contracts approved by the MPSC from 2009 – 2011. Includes 12 MW of Solar that will come online through 2015. (Source: Electric provider contract approval filings.)

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1. MI Public Service Commission: Renewables Less Expensive than … – Renewable Energy For Future - February 23, 2012

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