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Governor to release energy plan this week

Creative Commons

Governor Rick Snyder intends to deliver the broad outlines of an energy plan for Michigan this week.

In a message delivered in November of 2012, the governor focused on energy efficiency. This year, the governor is expected to put more attention on renewable energy.

The state Public Service Commission released a report last month. It says Michigan utilities could afford to generate almost a third of their electricity using wind, solar, and other renewable resources.

John Quackenbush of the Michigan Public Service Commission says renewable energy is becoming more affordable, especially from wind farms, “and that’s why our biggest focus through 2015 has been on onshore wind. It will be 94 percent of all the renewable energy that we have invested in by 2015.”

Environment groups hope the Legislature starts work on a comprehensive energy right away in 2014.

“I think building consensus between the utilities, the large customers, the environmental community, labor – I think kind of building that consensus package will be key to moving forward quickly here,” said James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council.

Michigan law currently has a renewable energy goal of 10 percent by 2015. Last year, voters rejected a standard of 25 percent by 2025.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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