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Why we need the 25 x 25 renewable energy plan

Clean energy that attracts jobs? That’s plain, common sense

Power to Change | September 4, 2012 | By Hans Voss

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New distributed energy technologies, new grid control systems, and new demand-side energy services should be part of what has been an under-informed, truncated conversation about meeting Michigan’s future electricity needs....

In November, Michigan voters can point toward a bright economic and environmental future by approving “25 x 25,” which requires that 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources by 2025.

Hans Voss

The proposal would trigger $10.3 billion in investment in Michigan and create 74,000 jobs over the next 13 years, according to a recent Michigan State University study. It would increase our energy independence and make Michigan what it should be: a world leader in renewable energy research, manufacturing and development.

Approving 25 x 25 is one of the most distinct and important steps we can take to create a better future for Michigan. That makes it one of the most important things on the ballot

The proposal is a modern-day example of a tradition defined by former Governor William Milliken of building a competitive economy around quality of life and a clean environment while continuing our proud history of industry-leading innovation.

As executive director of the Michigan Land Use Institute, I’ve worked for years with members, colleagues and partners to move that Milliken tradition forward. Sometimes our work is tangible, like coordinating a home weatherization program to save energy, or facilitating loans to farmers eager to grow their business. Other times it’s broader and less defined, like publishing educational pieces, supporting an ordinance, or trying to influence crucial legislation like the current farm bill.

Learn more about 25x25 at Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs

Whatever we’re doing, we’re always measuring benefits. And we think 25 x 25’s benefits are sky-high—higher than anything proposed for Michigan in the nearly 20 years we’ve been at it. They are both massive and long lasting.

But is it doable? Yes! Michigan is already on track to achieve its current 10 percent renewable energy standard by 2015. Twenty-nine other states already have renewable energy standards, some of which shoot for much higher goals: California is aiming for 33 percent by 2020, and New York is working toward 30 percent by 2015. Even among our Midwest neighbors, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa already adopted 25 percent by 2025 standards; Iowa is already producing 21 percent of its power from renewables.

Michigan not only has the sun and wind to compete with those states, but we also have two crucial, enviable edges—an unrivaled modern manufacturing legacy, and a proud history of innovation.

The economic argument is real.

Michigan produces most of its power from coal plants today. These are expensive to operate and many are in need of major investments just to keep them operational. There’s a tiny coal plant in Holland, for example, that needs $28 million in pollution upgrades just to stay legal.

And each year we send $1.36 billion of our money to Appalachia and Wyoming to buy coal. A good portion of that money would stay right here in Michigan with homegrown renewable energy.

Plus, 25 x 25 means lots of new, good-paying jobs for Michigan—manufacturing, exporting, selling, financing, transporting, building and operating new, clean-energy systems.

No wonder the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs campaign to support 25 x 25 is non-partisan. For example, Saul Anuzis, recent chair of the Michigan Republican Party and a national political player, enthusiastically endorsed 25 x 25.

“I am proud of the fact that many of the states that are at the forefront of responsible renewable energy standards are led by Republican governors and legislators,” Anuzis said. “Michigan is uniquely positioned with our industrial base and growing energy sector to be a national leader in manufacturing of renewable energy equipment and systems.”

We’ll need every Democrat, Republican and Independent vote we can attract because Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have donated more than $2.9 million each to a massive campaign to defeat 25 x 25. Anuzis calls these utilities “government-granted monopolies with unprecedented political clout, PACs, and influence” that oppose the measure  “in order to protect their market position – the status quo.”

The opponents are saying things like:

It will raise electric rates. The proposal specifically limits any renewables-related rate increase to no more than 1 percent annually. And, according to the a recent analysis by experts in utility economics and the experience of states like Iowa, renewables can actually help lower rates over time.

We should leave it up to the Legislature to develop energy policy. Lansing-watchers will tell you: Industry lobbyists would prevent Michigan from catching up with our neighbors on renewable energy policy. There’s even pending state legislation to repeal our current 10-percent renewables standard.

We shouldn’t tamper with the constitution. The state constitution specifically defines that a majority of voters can amend the constitution through citizen ballot initiatives. It was amended 69 times before it was completely rewritten in 1963 and 31 times since then, for all sorts of reasons: establishing the Natural Resources Trust Fund, legalizing stem cell research and regulating casinos, to name a few.

“25 x 25” is too risky and too rigid. Actually, it’s the safe thing to do. The cost of renewables like wind and solar is steadily decreasing; their fuel is eternally free; natural gas, oil and coal prices will only become more volatile; and the proposal’s cost cap guarantees no significant, renewables-related rate increases. And, as other states have shown, a 25 percent goal is entirely doable.

In Gov. Milliken’s era there were breakthroughs like the Michigan Environmental Protection Act and Wetlands Protection Act. Times have certainly changed since then. But that pro-economy conservation ethic that made Michigan a leader in the 1970s is still with us—really, it’s who we are here in the Great Lakes State. And a modernized renewable energy initiative is consistent with all of it.

I usually try not to predict what voters will do, but 25 x 25’s benefits are so clear and logical that I think Michiganders will back it. Clean, local, renewable energy that attracts investment and creates jobs? That’s plain, common sense.

Hans Voss is the Michigan Land Use Institute’s executive director. Reach him at hans@mlui.org.

*This article first appeared in the Sep. 2 edition of the Northern Express

26 Comments

1553 days ago, 6:21pm | by stondeez | Report Comment

Nice guy that Saul Anuzis

http://www.thatssaulfolks.com/2012/02/26/weekly-musing-2-26-12/

Quotes from his website

When I assess their situation, I find the most common is #13.

1. I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

2. I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

3. I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

4. I vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

5. I vote Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

6. I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

7. I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.

8. I vote Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

9. I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

10. I vote Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us, for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.

11. I vote Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world, I was promised “HOPE AND CHANGE”.

12. I vote Democrat because I’m convinced that the Government should control everyone’s health and tell everyone how to best run their own lives, based on their success with Social Security, the Post Office, the economy, controlling the border . . .

13. I vote Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my %#&, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share
My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

Please share.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

On Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

On Twitter at:
@sanuzis

Thanks again for all you do


Maybe mlui should do research on people before they start quoting them.

A true bi-partisan quote,

13. I vote Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my %#&, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.






1553 days ago, 6:30pm | by stondeez | Report Comment

Oops i forgot the headline of Mr Anuzis' article, here's the whole quote, I didnt want to be accused of cherry-picking by Jim "windbagger" Dulzo,

Why Some Friends Vote for Democrats???
When your “friends” cannot explain why they vote for Democrats, give them this list. They can then pick their reasons from this “TOP 13″…

When I assess their situation, I find the most common is #13.

1. I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

2. I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

3. I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

4. I vote Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

5. I vote Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.

6. I vote Democrat because I’m not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

7. I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits.

8. I vote Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

9. I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

10. I vote Democrat because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us, for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher.

11. I vote Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world, I was promised “HOPE AND CHANGE

12. I vote Democrat because I’m convinced that the Government should control everyone’s health and tell everyone how to best run their own lives, based on their success with Social Security, the Post Office, the economy, controlling the border . . .

13. I vote Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my %#&, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever have another point of view.

Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share
My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.

Please share.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

On Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/sanuzis

On Twitter at:
@sanuzis

Thanks again for all you do!

1553 days ago, 7:10pm | by stondeez | Report Comment

Funny quote from Mlui lobbiest Mr Voss,

"Industry lobbyists would prevent Michigan from catching up with our neighbors on renewable energy policy"

As we say out here in the country "if you smell a bad apple in the bushel basket you must be in the same basket"

As Mr Voss says,

"That’s plain, common sense."

1553 days ago, 9:23pm | by Tom Stacy | Report Comment

I believe the code for the part of the anatomy referred to in number thirteen is "@$$"

Anyone who believes we should replace cheap, dependable, abundant (available on demand) electricity sources with expensive ones (made profitable only by subsidy and mandates) that respond only to the right weather conditions, and that this is somehow good for the economy as a whole - MUST have their head planted very firmly. Wind electricity creates the same kind of jobs replacing backhoes with shovels and picks does. The difference being that shovels and picks can be used whether it is windy or calm.

1552 days ago, 7:41am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

Mr. Voss is speaking from a well-crafted, expensive and now timeworn script assembled by the American Wind Energy Association and their Big Fossil heavy leadership board as well as by some of the best PR firms in MI and around the country. And this 25x25 effort is almost exclusively funded by out-of-state interests. (It seems Mr. Voss is far more concerned about imported coal than imported ‘grass-roots’ ballot proposals!) How heavily funded? Click here http://tinyurl.com/8s6ko4f for the 25x25 campaign disclosures. $1.3 million from the GreenTech Action Fund of San Francisco, CA. $450,000 from the Natural Resources Defense Council of New York, NY. $250,000 from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, $100,000 from the Regeneration Project, San Francisco, CA. And $50,000 from AWEA, the wind industry activist group. In fact nearly 90% of the funding for this effort came from outside Michigan. Why?
Sierra Club and AWEA have both decided to place a bull’s-eye on Michigan to create a test case for ballot initiative-driven RPS standards. According to IICC agents inside the AWEA Chicago seminar earlier this year, the expressed purpose of pushing for more state-level RPS requirements is because the federal Production Tax Credit which give wind producers a financial benefit that is nearly equal to the wholesale cost of electricity on the gird is in jeopardy. And just like ethanol, wind will be produced without subsidies as long as there is a mandate to buy it, costs be damned. So do not be deceived: Michigan is a test case for constitutional RPS mandates because large political/industrial outside forces see an advantage to them and their constituents, not because they have the best interest of Michigan ratepayers/taxpayers at heart. Mr. Voss is working in lockstep with them.
Now what about jobs? Let us never forget: when the argument about a given subsidized activity is based upon jobs, that can only mean the argument has been lost on the merits. Why? Any activity that is both mandated and paid for by governmental fiat will produces jobs. Legislating that we produce electricity from incinerating baby ducks would likely create far more jobs than by mandating other renewables. But would that justify mass “duck-icide”? Certainly not. But if one looks at the modeling used to justify renewables mandates on a job creation basis it is simple to see that only possible job gains are counted. There are no negative impacts considered. If wind were actually able to free us from fossil fuel dependence ( I argue that it cannot) what would the job losses be in the mining, drilling, pipeline, shipping, rail and conventional energy industries? Are wind technician jobs somehow more valuable than union rail or coal mine jobs?
And we cannot talk about wind energy impacts without discussing the utility rate impacts of wide-scale wind deployment and they are profound. Mr. Voss alludes to a 1% annual cost cap under 25x25. First there is a high likelihood that such a cost cap is illegal and would severed from the amendment. (Some argue that it is only included for cynical reasons.) But the fact that a rate cap is necessary as a PR tool if nothing else, tells us that even the promoters realize that there will be a real impact to ratepayers that cannot be ignored. Using their own 1% number we realize that in 8-9 years (with compounding of interest) our electrical rates will rise another 10%. (Using DTE’s projections of 4-5% per year makes it FAR worse.) How does that effect ratepayer? University of Michigan spends $60 million annually for electricity. A 10% hike in electric rates is a tuition increase of $146.00 per year per student at UM. What would a 10% rate increase mean nationwide? Big Steel in the US consumes $18 billion of electricity per year. A 10% increase in power rates is a surcharge of $18,000 per year per employee. That money will not be available for wages, fringes, healthcare or pensions. And it certainly will not make Big Steel more competitive globally. Does JEDI jobs modeling take these impacts into account? Certainly not.
And is producing wind energy in Michigan getting cheaper? Not according to Appendix F of Feb 2012 Report on the Implementation of PA295. Power Purchase Agreement contracts approved by MPSC in 2010 were all in the $94-100 MWh range. 2011 saw the much ballyhooed $61.00 PPA in Tuscola Bay. (Of course the “magic” making that number possible is “proprietary”.) But the next three PPAs in 2012 are all back to $98.00 to $106.00 per MWh. And this is consistent with BNEL’s report on wind turbine pricing. http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/reports/lbnl-5119e.pdf. Since 1997 turbine price per kW has varied from $1600 in 1997 to $750 in 2000-2001. It then doubled to $1,500 through 2008 And in low wind resource regions like MI, current turbine pricing is near its peak at$1,400. Using EIA installed costs of around $2,000.kW, assuming a 20 year lifespan for the turbines and a modest cost of capital and a measured MI wind capacity factor for the first 6 months of 2012 of 25% the actual cost of producing wind energy exceeds $120.00 per MWh. The only way anyone can sell $120/Mwh energy into the grid at $60-110/MWh is by hiding the subsidies and Renewable Energy Credits. But no matter the accounting legerdemain the ratepayers and taxpayers are still paying in excess of $120.00 per MWh for wind either in taxes, utility fees or increased cost of goods and services that depend upon electricity to be delivered. But even at $61.00 for the project in Tuscola, that is 1.5 to 3x typical MISO wholesale pricing. Michigan has thus far not seen much rate impact due to wind deployment because statistically we produced less than ½% of our energy from wind. But at 25% the rate implications are obvious.
And what of the so called 10 billion dollar “investment” needed to make this happen? First off, $10 billion is exceedingly cautious. It is based on a very conservative likely turbine count necessary to reach the 25% mandate of 3,100 turbines. This number is only possible if one assumes a 40% capacity factor into the future. But this is likely not achievable now and will not hold true for a number of reasons, one being that the competition for land with so many turbines (at least 2000 square miles)will drive developers to build in less desirable regions, thereby dropping capacity factors. A more sober assessment of the number of turbines needed based on 2011 production data from EIA.GOV is in excess of 4,000 units and perhaps 5,000. Just turbine costs alone could reach as high as $20 billion installed and this includes nothing for the huge amount of transmission necessary, nat gas balancing plants and the stranded asset costs associated with replacing existing conventional plants with wind. At a $20 billion dollar price tag (more than the market cap of DTE and CMS combined) that amounts to a $2,000 per Michigan resident cost over and above the increased energy costs due to the renewables implementation. To call forcing that much money from the pocket of ratepayer and taxpayers and into the pockets of European turbine manufacturers and Big Fossil companies like Duke, NextEra and Exelon an “investment in Michigan’s economy” is beyond absurd.
Will 25x25 make electricity rates more stable? Almost certainly not. But if it did it would only be by creating fixed long term contracts for energy at a rate 2-4 times the current wholesale pricing. We could do the same with cars. Would GM be glad to “stabilize” the cost of a new car by getting you to sign a 10 year contract to buy one at 4 times the retail price? I am sure they would. And I am sure MLUI would tell you that is a good thing for Michigan and the economy…if it was a Chevy Volt.


Kevon Martis
Director
www.iiccusa.org
"Courageously Exposing Big Wind Misinformation"

1552 days ago, 8:29am | by Tom Stacy | Report Comment

Mr. Martis makes bullet proof arguments here, and Michiganders should not walk away from the idea of a constitutional amendment to require 25% renewable energy, they should RUN.

One criticism of his post - he says that adding 3,000 to 5,000 wind mining machines to rural Michigan's skyline would REPLACE conventional power plants. It wouldn't. The conventional plants we would otherwise require without wind will still be required with wind because wind energy often produces little or no energy at peak electricity demand periods, and the grid MUST satisfy those demand spikes which occur on hot, humid, still summer afternoons. Furthermore, the conventional plants would be required to operate sporadically at the inverse of wind energy output. Like stop and go city driving or idling in a parking lot, our conventional power plants become far less fuel efficient leveling the roller coaster ride of wind energy output. and that's not all. Conventional power plants, according to the EIA, rely on high utilization rates to cover the costs of building them. For coal and some natural gas plants, covering the cost of the plant itself is greater than the cost of the fuel it burns. Wind energy makes conventional plants run less MWHs per year, forcing rates from them up to cover the cost of building and maintaining the plant infrastructure. Wind forcing conventional plants to produce less, but less efficiently sounds strikingly like mandating that 25% of all excavation be done with picks and shovels instead of backhoes and bulldozers. The pick and shovel association touts the jobs such a mandate would "create," but fortunately Michiganders can see past the ruse.

1552 days ago, 8:33am | by Tom Stacy | Report Comment

And to drive the point home, I believe lying to the public in an attempt to access their tax dollars and raise their utility rates should be a criminal offense.

1552 days ago, 8:46am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

You are correct Mr. Stacy. When I referred to wind replacing conventional production I was referring to nuclear plants. I see no way MI can preserve nuclear production in MI under 25% renewables without either curtailing wind at its peak output OR dumping it across state lines, which will only remain viable as long as other states deploy only tiny renewable percentages.

1552 days ago, 10:48am | by Rob Sisson | Report Comment

This just doesn't jive with real life experience. Republicans in Iowa are huge supporters of wind energy there, and of the jobs it has brought to that state. The clean energy sector is the number one area of job growth in Illinois now. And, my own family down in Benton County, IN, home to the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi loves the development there...from farmers to homemakers....they love it, as do the local governments that have experienced a significant influx of tax revenue from the wind farms.

Further, natural gas is now the preferred base line fuel. We're seeing coal plant after coal plant convert to natural gas now. There is absolutely no reason for Michiganders to ship $1.7 billion out of state every year to buy coal...other than to line the pockets of the coal companies.

Illinois, now five years into its 25% clean energy standard, reports that electricity costs have decreased due to clean energy!

Conservatives and libertarians should welcome competition and an end to the current electricity monopolies in Michigan. They should welcome diversification of our power supply, and welcome the fact that we will be keeping more and more of that $1.7 billion in our own state.

And because nuclear energy does not emit carbon, mercury, or soot, the state legislature could welcome it to the clean energy portfolio.

Coal may be cheap out of the ground....but it poisons 600,000 babies born every year with unsafe levels of mercury already in their bodies. The taxpayer cost to deal with those children--from birth defects to learning disabilities to emotional issues--for the rest of their lives is astounding. I'm stunned any libertarian would support the destructive trespass on such a sacred personal liberty as the right to be born free of contamination!!!! And that is what Ronald Reagan called it, "the destructive trespass of pollution."

1552 days ago, 10:50am | by Rob Sisson | Report Comment

To be specific, what doesn't jive are the responses to this thoughtful piece my the Michigan Land Use Institute.

1552 days ago, 11:11am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

I stand by my data and prefer it to your anecdotes.

And Libertarians should have no interest in any energy source that only exists by governmental fiat on both the demand and supply side.

But you are correct: nuclear should count as a non-emitting renewable. And MI's short term future should absolutely include native natural gas. There is no doubt that we would receive FAR more economic benefit from job creation to lower energy costs by fracking the Antrim Shale. And we would achieve much greater CO2 reductions for a much lower cost than adding wind by constitutional amendment.

And that sense of "not jibing" is cognitive dissonance. :)

1552 days ago, 11:23am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

Regarding IL I refer you to this piece:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-31/business/ct-biz-0531-aggregation-kills--20120531_1_renewable-energy-wind-and-solar-developers-renewable-portfolio-standard

And Renewable Energy Credits (RECS), one of the former financial benefits to wind developers, are nowhere near the same benefit they once were. Instead of $30.00 per MWH RECS, the Midwest rate is now $2-3 which is why IL producers are now buying RECS instead of building wind plants. It is way cheaper, especially with wind over capacity in neighboring IN.

1552 days ago, 4:37pm | by Force vs. Consent | Report Comment

I need to correct a few errors and/or omissions in Rob’s posting,

- Iowa Republicans are in favor of wind because it is another way of subsidizing farmers. In addition to the federal PTC Iowa has its own PTC.
- Coal use has not decreased in Iowa it has gone up! EIA data for Iowa shows clearly that as wind has increased coal has also increased while gas generation has dropped.
- The conversion of coal plants to gas or the shutdown of coal plants has nothing whatsoever to do with wind because wind has no real capacity. Wind cannot replace a coal plant.
- The 1.7 billion sent out of state to buy coal is a bogus statistic. First off, if this proposal reduces coal usage at all it will be by less than 300 million per year. Secondly, the money we send to foreign and out of state wind developers will exceed any savings on coal by a minimum of 4 times. Wind will result in more money leaving the state not less.
- There is no net economic benefit to wind. The models used by the 25% crowd are terribly flawed. They assume the 20 billion dollars to pay for this drops out of the sky. They do not even consider the fact that the money will come out of the pockets of ratepayers like you and me. The model also does not consider the option of alternative investments. If you had 20 billion to spend toward improving Michigan’s economy would you waste it on turbines or would you spend it on education or roads or recreational opportunities etc etc
- Mercury levels in the Great lakes have been dropping since the 60s despite increased coal usage. This proposal will have little to no measurable impact on mercury levels. Turbines are a very expensive way to reduce mercury levels.

1552 days ago, 6:12pm | by Kristi | Report Comment

The reason Iowa's rates have stayed low is because Iowa DOES NOT MANDATE 25% wind. Their wind projects get the huge federal subsidy and then sell all their Renewable Energy Credits to suckers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, etc. so that those States can meet their mandates. MN mandates wind. 60-70% is produced when there is no demand on the grid. MN utilities are mandated by our 25 X 25 law to buy this energy which they cannot use and cannot sell. Just this unusable portion of wind in the smaller rural MN electrical market this was a $70 million expense to rural rate payers in 2011. We have been told to expect $120 -$150 million loss to rural rate payers on the unusable portion for 2012. Both the usable and unusable wind electricity wholesales for 2-4 times the electrical rate of other generators. Spanish owned Gamesa is currently proposing putting turbines on sinkholes in SE MN. Very fitting putting financial sink holes on actual sink holes.

1552 days ago, 6:23pm | by Kristi | Report Comment

Unfortunately, you are correct that wind energy enjoys Republican support. Iv'e spoken with Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Congressman King. My conversations with them revealed exactly the same thing as conversations with Democrats who support wind energy: complete ignorance as to how much money is being spent and who is getting the money; cannot name one environmental benefit based on scientific data; have no idea how many jobs have been created or destroyed; complete ignorance of the real effects of the laws they passed. Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty was a huge wind supporter and touted it to all the Midwest Governors, including MI. He then backpeddled while running for President even lying that he "looked under the hood" at the idea of cap and trade and decided it was a bad idea. In fact cap and trade is law in MN -passed and signed by T. Paw the year after 25 X 25 became MN law. A couple months before the end of T. Paw's reign, he met privately with T. Boone Pickens owner of AWA Goodhue industrial wind project just prior to an important MN PUC hearing on the project. Obviously T. Boone was hoping to get T. Paw to help with a positive outcome. T. Paw's office told me at the time that if I wanted my voice heard on wind energy, I should hire a big law firm or a lobbyist to represent my interests. 25X25 is another step on this road of corruption and lies. DON'T DO IT Michigan!! Unless you're deepest desire is to legalize fraud and corruption in your State, you should say NO NO NO to 25 X25.

1552 days ago, 8:44pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

Not sure the green jobs claim needs anymore rebutting than this: http://www.mackinac.org/17400

1551 days ago, 10:59pm | by Roger Halstead | Report Comment

First, one only needs to look at Obama's success with green energy. It's been a disaster and California is not far behind.

Now there are successes in wind energy, but you can't just plant a tower and hope for the best as the best might not be much.

The Gratiot Country MI wind farms are an exception, at least so far and farmers are receiving some nice checks even after Mi has tried to double the taxes on late comers and cut what the towns and schools will be receiving.

A 2 year study indicated that most of the county has an ample supply of wind. On top of that installing new power lines on the grid were not necessary as the unused capacity was there from lines that used to supply the old Total Refinery in Alma. They also cover a wide area with only 3 towers per square mile, so it's unlikely the entire area will have no wind. However it takes decades to establish standards for an area so it's indeed possible this outstanding performance is nothing more than an anomaly for the area. Only time will tell.

I believe the wind farm in NE Gratiot (DTE and Invenergy) is showing about a 92 or 94 percent utilization even when scheduled maintenance is taken into account. That does make it a viable source of energy that can be sold at rates competitive to current rates with the purchasers still able to make a profit.

Unfortunately, not many areas are as wind friendly and they have to spend a great deal to bring in the power grid. One of WI mistakes was to contract to purchase any surplus power that one large wind farm produced. It turned out there was a huge surplus which cost the state many millions.

Solar: You could give the solar panels away and it'd still be expensive as the installation is now apparently costing more than the panels. Also many of the highly touted installations generate huge amounts of Radio Frequency Interference with the inverters.

I am doubtful that MI can achieve the 25 in 25 without raising costs.So, they have a limit of 1% per year. Who pays any costs/losses in excess of that. Either the tax payers do, or the companies close down.

With natural gas at 10% of what it was less than 10 years ago, it's a natural progression that coal will be on the way out. We are sitting on top of one of the largest natural gas deposits in the world. I'm told it's capable of supplying our energy needs for the next 100 years. If we take advantage of that and allow renewable energy generation to develop at its own pace we would be much farther ahead.

BTW I own one of those farms in Gratiot county and receive a check every quarter and I still distrust pushing renewable energy beyond its normal developmental pace.

1550 days ago, 5:31am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

As always, follow the money for MLUI:
http://hgrants.ef.org/?sector%5B%5D=5c997f164b1871440c09e3c762eccfd9&begin=2009-01-01&end=&filter=michigan&on=all&sort=begin&order=asc

1550 days ago, 5:34am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

What is a 92-94% utilization rate?

1545 days ago, 7:57am | by Douglas Darling | Report Comment


Michigan Energy Michigan jobs. 25% by 2025

I farm and support renewable energy BUT, read why I say
VOTE ‘NO’ on ballot proposal Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs 25% by 2025.

If you were asked would
you want to lower your electric rates?
Do you want to save the environment and create green energy?
Do you want to create more Michigan Jobs?

You may say "yes" to all of these.

The ballot proposal 25% by 2025 Michigan Energy Michigan jobs will do none of the above.

What it does...

1 it cap electric rates with no regard to the actual cost of producing electricity or infrastructure cost. This experiment was done in California in 2004. The CA. legislature cap electric rates less than PCG was purchasing electricity from other states/companies during peak load. CA. does not produce enough electric for its state ‘s demand. Rolling back outs of 04 occurred due to PCG could afford to purchase electric power from other states at a higher cost than PCG could charge for it.

2. 25% by 25. Require 25% of all electric energy need be supplied by renewables by 2025. This is a novel idea but it does not take into account the cost of producing electricity in this manor or it’s is economically viable. (Compound this with a cap electric rate a formula for economic disaster.)

This Referendum will not attract new business to Michigan or keep businesses here but rather frighten them away. It will raise energy cost in Michigan.

In order to manufacture, process, warehouse, start a business, and run a business you must have a dependable and abundant energy supply.
This referendum undermines all of the recent efforts in Michigan's economic recovery.

VOTE ‘NO’ on ballot proposal Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs 25% by 2025.



1544 days ago, 10:02pm | by Peter Sinclair | Report Comment

We in Michigan can stand by and watch as Germany, Ontario, Iowa, Colorado, Vermont, and even Ohio leave us in the dust, or we can lead the industrial revolution of the new century the way we lead in the last century.
Everyone knows that Renewables are the future - the choice is whether we choose to lead, or become an economic backwater. Vote yes for 25 x 25.

1542 days ago, 10:16pm | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

The IA comparison is intriguing. MI has very little wind above 7m/s. IA has a whole bunch at 9m/s, The energy available from wind is equal to the cube of the wind speed. In this case our wind energy number would be 343 vs. IA's 729. That means each wind turbine in IA will produce 2x the output as ours. This then means that if IA was 100% wind and MI was 100% wind (technically impossible), our electricity would cost twice IA's because we have the worst wind resource in the Midwest. It also means that if MI were to try and produce 20% of our energy from wind as IA does now, and understanding that IA's TOTAL electrical production is one half MI's, we will need to build at least 4x as many turbines as IA to reach 20% here.

Germany's fear of nuclear and their misguided attempts at replacing it with renewables has led to blackouts and, finally, 24 new coal fired plants to produce what the renewables cannot.

According to Bentek, CO has actually increased emissions due to their wind deployment causing increased coal plant cycling.

Ontario is having so much local opposition to wind that there is a push to stop any more development by the Farmer;s Union. And they use 1,800' setbacks from homes there, almost twice what CMS used in Mason County.

OH only has trivial amounts of wind online and there RPS permits importation from out of state which is good: their wind resource is almost as bad as Michigan's.

And frankly, being number one in wind is like being number one in water driven grist mills, draft horses and buggy whips. Wind power was given up 100 years ago for the same reason it is of no value today: it is unreliable and intermittent which makes it out of step with the needs of modern society. The worst case scenario is MN where 60% of their wind energy is produced at times of ZERO demand. Who wants to win that race?

1540 days ago, 8:56am | by Ridgewalker | Report Comment

Vote yes...It's time to do our part.

1538 days ago, 11:10pm | by Protia | Report Comment

Vote No.... It's time to do our part by not being used as an experiment... Why push for this to be in our constitution and be locked in if for some strange reason you pro winders are wrong? How anyone can buy this arguement knowing what is occuring in countries who have gone this way is beyond me. Spain 25% unemployment.... Due to expensive energy... industry moved to North Africa....

1537 days ago, 8:52am | by Ridgewalker | Report Comment

We’re not Spain and it’s not all about wind energy…..it’s about 'alternative' energy, including solar, hydro etc. It’s about air quality, and if you believe in it or not, it’s about global warming. There are many reasons beyond the cost of electricity that cause industry to move out of country….ask our own industry leaders….why do they outsource, move entire operations overseas? , it’s not because of the cost of electricity.

1536 days ago, 9:11am | by Kevon Martis | Report Comment

Ridgewalker:

25x25 proponents disagree with you. This will be a wind mandate, not solar, hydro or biomass.

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