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State Energy Plan to Outline Path to Affordable, Reliable Electricity

Contact: Judy Palnau (517) 241-3323

April 6, 2006

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today issued an executive directive calling for the development of a comprehensive energy plan for the state of Michigan.  The plan will outline ways to provide affordable, reliable, safe, and clean electricity for citizens and businesses.  Granholm charged Peter Lark, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, with beginning the development of the plan immediately and presenting it to her by year’s end. 

“Michigan citizens and businesses need to know that there will be a reliable, affordable source of electricity when they reach for the light switch,” Granholm said.  “We know that we need to plan now to meet our electric needs in the future.  This is an opportunity to be sure that we’re meeting those needs in the most affordable, environmentally-friendly, reliable way possible.  A comprehensive energy plan will strengthen our competitive business climate, grow jobs, and provide affordable rates for all customers for the long term.”
 
Earlier this year, the Michigan Public Service Commission indicated the state will be facing a need for new generation capacity by 2009.  The directive issued today will ensure that the state has the tools necessary to meet future demand in a way that is reliable, clean, and cost-effective. 

Executive Directive 2006-2 asks for recommendations to ensure the state can both reliably meet its growing energy needs and keep electric rates competitive.  The plan, when complete, will encourage the use of new technologies to improve energy efficiency, cleanliness, and distribution and will explore ways to continue the growth of the alternative energy industry here in Michigan. 

“Michigan has the capability to become America’s alternative energy development epicenter, and that offers a tremendous opportunity to diversify our economy and provide high-tech, high-wage, 21st century jobs to our residents,” Granholm said. “It is our duty to find a way to increase Michigan’s energy independence, and in the process, develop affordable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly electric sources powered by Michigan’s businesses, Michigan innovation, and Michigan workers.”

The plan will encourage the state to seek alternative and renewable sources of energy as alternatives to traditional electricity generation.  As part of the directive, the Governor has also asked Chairman Lark to establish a renewable energy portfolio for the state.  The portfolio will encourage the production and use of alternative energy sources in Michigan by requiring that a certain percentage of the state’s energy supply come from renewable sources.
 
The plan will be developed by the chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, working in cooperation with representatives from the public and private sectors, including the directors of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and other appropriate state departments.

The directive calls for specific recommendations on:

  • meeting the state’s short and long-term electric needs for residential, industrial, commercial and governmental customers in way that that ensures a reliable, safe, clean and affordable supply;

  • developing Michigan’s electronic infrastructure to further the state’s competitive business climate, grow jobs, and provide affordable rates for all customers;

  • reducing reliance on fossil fuels through energy efficiency, alternative energy, and renewable energy technologies consistent with the goal of assuring reliable, safe, clean and affordable energy;

  • protecting natural resources and the environment from pollution, physical or visual impairment, or destruction and future risks associated with fossil fuels;

  • developing a renewable portfolio standard which will establish targets for the share of the state’s energy consumption that should come from renewable energy sources;

  • identifying new technology options to generate, transmit, or distribute energy more cleanly or more efficiently;.

  • fostering continued growth of alternative and renewable energy technologies within the state by ensuring development of the intellectual capital, financing, infrastructure, and other resources necessary for the growth of the industry; and,

  • identifying any legislative or regulatory changes necessary to its implementation, together with any financial, funding, or incentive mechanisms needed to best position the state to meet the energy challenges of the future.

The report is due to the Governor by December 31, 2006.