clean energy


Michigan Finally Moves Forward on Clean Energy, As the Final Bell Tolls on 2016 Session

, senior energy analyst

As the last day of Michigan’s 2016 legislative session came to an end, legislators finally came to agreement on energy legislation (Senate bills 437 and 438) that settles some long-standing disputes, improves Michigan’s ability to plan for ongoing changes in its energy mix, and makes some (but not necessarily enough) progress toward Michigan’s clean energy future. As the legislation heads to Governor Snyder’s desk for signature, let’s take a quick look at some of the key clean energy provisions and how they will help shape a cleaner, more sustainable and affordable energy future for Michigan. Read more >

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Polar Vortex Returns. Will Wind Energy Be Left Out in the Cold?

, senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program

The Polar Vortex in 2014 revealed issues with over-reliance on natural gas  and under-appreciation of wind and customer demand response. The Union of Concerned Scientists is pushing to correct mistakes when made when the low price of natural gas for most of the year fooled a lot of people who should know better. Assumptions that natural gas would be just as available in a cold snap as in mild weather created havoc with electric power plants that rely, perhaps over-rely, on natural gas when the cold snap came. Read more >

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Michigan’s Proposed Clean Energy Overhaul

, senior energy analyst

On November 10th the Michigan Senate passed legislation (Senate bills 437 and 438) to overhaul how the state’s utilities are regulated. It’s been more than two years in the making, and the legislation touches on a wide range of issues that will impact the role of clean energy in meeting Michigan’s energy future, including how to handle the growth in rooftop solar and updating the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Read more >

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Minnesota Approves Xcel Energy Plan: More Renewables, Less Coal, Hold on Natural Gas

, senior energy analyst

In a decision that will further strengthen Minnesota’s leadership position in the clean energy transition, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved Xcel Energy’s 15-year resource plan that will retire nearly 1,400 megawatts (MW) of coal capacity and move the state’s largest utility towards 40 percent renewable energy by 2030. Read more >

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Michigan and the Clean Power Plan: What the State’s Analysis Can and Cannot Tell Us

, senior energy analyst

On September 26th the state of Michigan released its initial analysis of the potential impacts of complying with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) that will limit carbon emissions from existing power plants.

The analysis found that complying with the CPP may actually provide cost saving opportunities for Michigan ratepayers, particularly if Michigan strengthens its commitment to energy efficiency and cooperates with neighboring states. But the analysis fails to shed light on the role renewable energy could play in maximizing consumer benefits, while minimizing the variety of risks associated with an overreliance on natural gas. Read more >

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