Library filed under Energy Policy from Michigan
Wind energy cannot be produced efficiently in Michigan. As a result, without an in-state mandate, Michigan produced wind energy would simply lose out to cheaper energy produced from other sources or even by wind energy from some other states.
The draft report is already generating some sparks. Wind energy advocates claim the report paints a rosy picture of the future of wind power in Michigan. However, those who claim wind energy is neither cost-effective nor the best way of cutting emissions, say the report is not a positive one for wind energy producers.
"Michigan cannot, without violating the commerce clause," he went on, "discriminate against out-of-state renewable energy." Richard Posner At issue is whether the RPS, which requires that 10 percent of Michigan's energy be drawn from in-state renewable sources by 2015, violates the "dormant" Commerce Clause.
For wind developers wishing to induce municipalities to adopt wind-friendly zoning, they must abandon their current mantra of using the law to tell communities that they might as well agree to building wind farms because the state eventually will force the issue. Wind energy developers will have to discover a means to generate wind energy at a competitive price in a state with a regionally anemic wind resource, or they'll have to walk away.
A federal appeals court found last week that it's unconstitutional for Michigan to discriminate against out-of-state renewable electricity - a decision being described as giving a major edge to clean power in the legal fight over the future of the U.S. grid.
The County Board of Commissioners decided to send a message regarding wind energy projects in the county by opting not to act on a request to release from 26.311 acres in Windsor Township PA 116 for the purpose of building an energy substation planned for the Thumb Loop.
The Michigan Energy-Michigan Jobs (MEMJ) Proposal 3 - its 25 by 25 gambit - would have forced Michigan taxpayers and ratepayers to produce 25 percent of the Wolverine State's electricity via expensive, unreliable, parasitic wind and solar projects by 2025.
Voters rejected Proposal 3, opting not to put the renewable energy mandate in the state’s constitution. Opposition group Clean Affordable Renewable Energy (CARE) for Michigan claimed victory in defeating the proposal that it said would lead to higher electric bills. It made the call at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Proposal 3 would enshrine in Michigan's Constitution a requirement that a full 25 percent of Michigan's electricity be produced by "clean, renewable electric energy sources." Such sources could include wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power and biomass fuels.
Opponents, led by a group that has received millions of dollars from the state's two large investor-owned utilities, say it's inappropriate to use the state constitution to make energy policy, and that, if passed, the amendment could lock the state into wind power for decades, limiting Michigan's future energy options in a rapidly changing industry. ..."Make no mistake, this is a wind proposal."
The ballot campaign suffered a setback when construction and utility unions protested inclusion of the initiative in the Michigan Democratic Party's 2012 platform, arguing that mandating more solar and wind power could lead to fewer union jobs at coal-burning power plants.
Ken Sikkema, a Public Sector Consultant and former state lawmaker, said generating electricity from wind simply won't work in the state. "It will cost $12 billion to generate 25 percent of the state's electricity using wind turbines by 2025."
"Particularly on energy policy, it is absolutely critical to have flexibility to respond to changing circumstances over time," says Ken Sikkema, a former Michigan Republican Senate majority leader, who recently met with The Oakland Press editorial board. ...there is already a renewable energy standard of 10 percent, established by the state Legislature.
But opponents -- including utilities, business people and union officials -- say it'll end up costing them and their customers that same $10 billion in higher business costs and rates. This camp says legislation, not the state Constitution, is the proper route for changing the standard, the same method used for the current 10% standard.
Major utility companies, along with other business and labor leaders, are organizing a campaign against a ballot proposal to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standards. ...If the state’s utilities used wind turbines to meet the proposed requirement, it would take 3,100 turbines at the cost of $12 billion.
Opponents of government mandated renewable energy are coming to the event to protest the blind push for renewable energy and hand out information showing that most wind energy is a farce. "Wind energy is just the latest incarnation of big industry and big government working hand-in-taxpayers-pocket to fatten their own wallets while the common person picks up their tab."
The measure pits "green" Michigan manufacturers such as Power Panel Inc. and Dow Chemical Co. against coal and natural gas suppliers and Michigan businesses that fear the move could mean higher electric rates.
With the approval in Riga Township of a wind turbine ordinance that wind power supporters say effectively bans turbines in the township, the wind energy debate now shifts to Ogden and Palmyra townships. In Ogden Township, which does not have zoning, the township board will be discussing a police powers ordinance to regulate turbines.
Sanilac County officials are part of an ad hoc group of municipal leaders from across Michigan's Thumb that is urging the state to go slow on legislation calling for offshore wind turbines in Lake Huron. "We were not familiar with or notified of the bill," said Carl Osentoski of Ubly, who launched the Thumb Regional Energy Collaborative Group in summer 2010.
Rules for regulating offshore wind farms likely will blow over to next year. State Sen. Patty Birkholz of Saugatuck has been working on the legislation for the past year, but says the legislature didn't have time to act on it during its lame duck session, which concluded this week.