A proposal to increase Michigan's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 25% by 2025 has received a unanimous approval from the Michigan Board of Canvassers to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot, according to Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs, a bipartisan coalition of local businesses, labor organizations and healthcare advocates that supports the initiative.
The state's current RPS is 10% by 2015 for all utilities, with carve-outs of 300 MW of new renewables by 2013 and 600 MW of new renewables by 2015 for DTE Energy, and 200 MW of new renewables by 2013 and 500 MW of new renewables by 2015 for Consumers Energy.
Many of the state's utilities – including DTE Energy and Consumers Energy – have opposed the proposal.
‘We are a supporter of wind energy, but we want to make certain it evolves in a logical and prudent way,’ DTE Energy spokesperson Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said back in June. ‘We think that 25 percent by 2025 is pretty arbitrary.’
But supporters of the proposal say it is just what Michigan needs to rebuild its faltering economy.
"Michigan voters are one step closer to supporting a proposal that will create 94,000 Michigan jobs, rebuild Michigan manufacturing, protect public health and get Michigan's economy moving forward again," says Mark Fisk, spokesperson for the Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs campaign. "Michigan is falling behind in the clean energy race, while other states are moving forward and attracting good manufacturing jobs. By passing this proposal, Michigan can compete for those jobs and put our citizens back to work."
The Board of Canvassers' decision comes just after Michigan State University experts released a report estimating that a 25% by 2025 RPS would create around 94,000 jobs in construction, operations and maintenance, and manufacturing.