According to a report by the Michigan Public Service Commission, all energy providers in the state have met or even exceeded the government-mandated clean energy standards to supply 10% of power from renewable sources in 2015.
The report states that majority of the energy are coming from provider investments, while the smaller portion is coming from banked energy credits that are purchased from consumers having energy surplus. Judy Palnau, the commission’s media director, said that while the environmental benefits of renewable energy are understood by the general, a number of people still do not realize its cost benefits. She stated:
“The cost has surprised even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy. Even they have been shocked at how much the cost has gone down since 2009, enough that it is cheaper than the cost of any new fossil fuel generation.”
Now, the decreased costs have allowed utility companies to comply with the clean energy standards and eventually achieve their ultimate goals.
Aside from Palnau, other proponents also shared their views about the benefits of renewable energy to consumers. Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) executive director, John Freeman, said that more renewable sources will boost market competition. This means that more control will be put in the hands of the consumers. He stated, “We need more competition in the marketplace. Utilities shouldn’t call all the shots regarding energy production. People have the capacity now to generate their own energy. A farmer can invest in a solar energy system, they can save money in the long run, and now they’re in charge of one of the most costly aspects of running a farm or running a business.”
The commission’s report also called for a 12.5% standard in the next 2 years and a 15% standard in the next 4 years.