Michigan utilities DTE Energy and Consumers Energy have reached an agreement with Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan to bring more clean energy to Michigan residents.
According to the environmental organization, the utilities will target a goal of at least 50% clean energy by 2030, to be achieved through a combination of investments in at least 25% renewable energy and the remaining through energy efficiency.
As a result of the breakthrough agreement, Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan notes it will not submit the more than 350,000 signatures it collected through its campaign in support of upping the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 30% by 2030.
“Michigan wants clean energy, and we saw support across the state from the moment we
started this campaign,” says John Freeman, the campaign manager for Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan. “We look forward to working with Michigan’s energy companies and leaders across the state to continue to push for more progress on this issue and working for a healthy, prosperous future for Michigan families.”
Although current state law requires 15% renewable energy by 2021, both DTE and Consumers have agreed to reach at least 25% renewable energy usage by 2030. DTE and Consumers have also both agreed to include a description of how they will reach the 50% clean energy goal by 2030 in their respective integrated resource plans submitted to the Michigan Public Service Commission every five years. Notably, DTE Energy recently came under fire for its natural gas plant proposal in East China Township.
Tom Steyer, a staunch clean energy advocate and supporter of Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan, applauded the new deal:
“The agreement between Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan and DTE Energy and Consumers Energy is a win for the people of Michigan,” says Steyer, who is also president and founder of NextGen America. “Every American deserves the right to clean air and water. With this agreement, Michigan has become a national example of how consumers, public-interest advocates and energy companies can work together to find real solutions to combat climate change. I’m pleased DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson and Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe recognize the urgent need – and public desire – to transition to clean energy. There is nothing more important than protecting the air we breathe and water we drink – and leaving a healthy future for our children and grandchildren.”
On behalf of the energy companies, Anderson and Poppe have released the following statement:
“We appreciate that Tom Steyer and the sponsors of Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan have taken the time to understand our commitment to carbon reduction and how Michigan’s energy plan puts the tools in place to achieve this goal in a thoughtful and affordable manner. Our two companies are overwhelmingly in favor of renewable energy and are focused on bringing additional energy efficiency opportunities to our customers. We will continue to work within the framework put forward by our legislature and regulators to build on our environmental initiatives to benefit all residents of the state.”