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Granholm Applauds Renewable Energy Package
September 18, 2008
September 18, 2008
Historic agreement will create jobs; ensure clean, affordable energy for Michigan consumers
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said passage of a bipartisan energy package she proposed in her 2008 State of the State address will create jobs, diversify Michigan's economy, and save customers money on their electric bills by ensuring that the bulk of Michigan's future energy needs are met by renewable energy resources and energy efficiency savings.
Granholm said she will sign the package into law as soon as it reaches her desk.
"This legislation will spark the investment in alternative energy we need to create jobs and diversify our economy," Granholm said today. "It will also ensure that the energy we need to heat our homes and power our businesses will be clean and affordable for generations to come."
The package includes a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that mandates 10 percent of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2015, regulatory reform that protects Michigan ratepayers and allows utility companies to build new electricity generation in Michigan, and a requirement that utilities meet an additional 5.5 percent of Michigan's annual electricity demands through energy efficiency by 2015.
Granholm noted the energy package will protect Michigan ratepayers' money by ensuring that the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will save more money than they cost. This energy efficiency requirement is projected to save consumers and businesses $1.04 billion a year by 2025.
The package includes an income tax credit to offset a portion of ratepayers' investments in renewable energy for Michigan and a "net metering" law that will allow customers to sell renewable electricity they produce at their homes or businesses to their utility companies.
"I applaud members of the House and Senate who voted to invest in Michigan's future by passing this historic legislation," Granholm said. "Together, we are sending a signal to the world that Michigan is ready to build a bright future for our citizens by creating jobs, diversifying our economy, and ensuring that our 21st century energy needs are met in a way that protects our pocketbooks and the planet."
The demand for green energy is skyrocketing as Americans grow more concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on climate change and our national security.
The Michigan Public Service Commission estimates that Michigan currently spends $26 billion to import fossil fuels annually.
Granholm has argued that an RPS is essential for Michigan's economic future, because they drive investment in this emerging industry. Venture capital firms and green energy manufacturers are investing billions of dollars in expanding capacity but generally only invest in states that have an RPS.
Green energy manufacturing is considered to be a perfect fit for Michigan given the state has superior tool and die, metal fabrication, and metal working capabilities; manufacturing expertise and facilities that can be retrofitted to produce things like wind turbines; a manufacturing supplier network that is already starting to supply green tech manufacturers; tremendous research and development expertise in our universities and corporate research centers; a world class workforce; and an outstanding wind resource.
The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) estimates that Michigan has the potential to be one of the top eight states for wind energy generation in the country, making Michigan an attractive customer market for wind turbine manufacturers. The USDOE has also cited a study by the Renewable Energy Policy Project that found Michigan is the fourth best- positioned state to expand wind power manufacturing jobs. Many wind turbine manufacturers are sold out of their product for one or two years down the road.
Michigan's quickly growing solar manufacturing industry, which includes global heavyweights like United Solar Ovonic and Hemlock Semiconductor, will also benefit from the legislation, by increasing demand for their products.
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