Michigan is about to pass a 100% clean electricity by 2040 law


Michigan will become the 12th state to pass landmark legislation that sets a 100% clean electricity deadline for utilities.

The legislation passed by the Michigan House and Senate, which will imminently be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), is known as the Clean Energy Future Plan. It will require Michigan utilities to source 15% of electricity from clean energy sources such as wind or solar through 2029. That requirement will then increase to 50% by 2030, 60% by 2035, and 100% by 2040.

The package of bills include the increase of utility energy efficiency requirements and it ensures that the state’s utility regulator considers climate, affordability, and equity in utilities’ long-term energy plans.

It also sets an energy storage standard of 2.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 – making it the first Midwestern state to do so – and raises caps on distributed energy sources such as rooftop solar.

The package ensures that workers are included in the state’s transition to a clean energy economy and reduces barriers to building out large-scale renewable projects.

Peder Mewis, regional policy director at the Clean Grid Alliance, said, “Siting and permitting has been the largest roadblock to deploying renewable projects in Michigan, and the reforms in this package will ensure a predictable and stable permitting environment that will unlock billions in economic development across the state for decades to come.”

The Michigan Environmental Council noted in an email to Electrek that the legislation will also reduce costs for consumers:

Every dollar spent on energy efficiency alone results in $4 in savings for customers.

Moreover, a report from Evergreen Action, 5 Lakes Energy, and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council shows that strong action on clean energy will save Michigan more than $8.3 billion in healthcare costs through 2050.

Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer with the Michigan Environmental Council, said, “This bold climate legislation will help mitigate worse impacts from climate change, all while saving us money on utility bills and protecting our kids from dangerous pollution.”

And Governor Whitmer said after the package passed the Senate:

With a 100% clean energy standard, energy efficiency rules to save families money, stronger tools to build more solar and wind farms, I know we will build on our economic momentum and dominate the future.

I look forward to signing our clean energy package soon so we can build our brighter future.

Michigan is currently the No 3 state in the US for clean energy investments, with $21.3 billion of investments and 16,699 jobs secured since the passage of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. 

But the state still has a lot of work to do: Renewables provided just 12% of Michigan’s electricity net generation in 2022, and wind accounted for about two-thirds of that power.

Read more: Michigan is building a trailblazing electric truck stop with Daimler, DTE

Photo: By No Trams To Lime Street from METRO DETROIT – Wind Turbines near Ubly, CC BY-SA 2.0

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