Will Michigan reject renewable portfolio standards?

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By Jesse Berst

 

Just yesterday we reported how declining natural gas prices are putting coal plants and merchant generation under financial strain. We wondered if renewables would be next, since it is so hard for renewable energy to match the low cost of power from a natural gas plant. And now comes word that opposition is building in Michigan to the state's proposed renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 25% by 2025. The Detroit News reports a coalition of labor, business and government has launched its opposition to the 25x25 ballot initiative.

 

Under the ballot proposal, the state's energy providers would have to produce or purchase 25% of their electricity from renewable sources, such as biomass, hydro, solar and wind power, by 2025. The opposition group says it will cost $10 billion to implement the RPS. "We are not opposed to renewable energy," spokeswoman Megan Brown told the Detroit News. "We are opposed to cementing it into the state's constitution. It limits flexibility for the future."