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Michigan on target to meet renewable energy standards, could achieve more

Morgue File

A new report suggests Michigan is well-positioned to expand renewable energy production.

It says renewable energy production is getting cheaper and more efficient. Officials say that means the state could set more aggressive energy standards in the future.

Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John Quackenbush helped write the report.

“We show in the report that it’s technically feasible to do quite a bit more, it’s more affordable than we thought it would be,” said Quackenbush. “And so it’s for policy makers to decide that, but I think we’re on a good path.”

Michigan conservation groups are touting the study.

 “The overwhelming weight of the evidence is stacking up on the side of the issue that says renewable energy makes a lot of economic sense, even absent the public health and environmental benefits of it,” said Michigan Environmental Council spokesperson Hugh McDiarmid. “And the more weight of those studies and factual data that is compiled, the harder it’s going to be for politicians and others to oppose a move toward more renewable energies.”

Michigan utilities are required to generate 10% of their energy using renewables by 2015. The state’s report says they’re on track to meet that requirement.

It says the state has the ability to achieve 30% or higher by 2035.

The state will take public comment on the draft report and release a final version in November. Governor Snyder is expected to use the report to make policy recommendations to state lawmakers by the end of the year.