Michigan Eyes 2040 for Carbon-Free Electricity with Bold Clean Energy Mandates

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Michigan is poised to adopt a significant clean energy mandate, aiming to achieve carbon-free status by 2040. 

This ambitious goal, soon to be signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, aligns with broader Democratic environmental objectives. 

The legislation will compel utility providers in the state to transition to 100% carbon-free energy generation by 2040, making Michigan one of five states with such mandates. 

Additionally, there’s a target for utilities to generate 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030, a substantial increase from the current 12%.

Michigan’s state-level mandates align with the Biden administration’s targets for a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. 

Democrats in the Michigan Legislature recently approved a clean energy package, earning praise from environmental groups. 

Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, expresses hope that Michigan’s plan will serve as a model for other states.

Michigan Aims for 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

Michigan-Eyes-2040-For-Carbon-Free-Electricity-With-Bold-Clean-Energy-Mandates
Michigan-Eyes-2040-For-Carbon-Free-Electricity-With-Bold-Clean-Energy-Mandates

To meet Michigan’s renewable energy goals of 50% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, there will be a substantial expansion of utility-scale renewable energy resources. 

Currently, just over 17,000 acres are used for wind and solar generation. 

According to Dan Scripps, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, an additional 209,000 acres will be needed to achieve the 60% target. 

To facilitate this expansion, Michigan lawmakers are considering granting the state’s Public Service Commission the authority to override local governments for the approval of large renewable energy projects.

A controversial provision in the energy package has sparked strong opposition from local government coalitions, including the Michigan Association of Counties. 

The Michigan Township Association argues that the provision hampers input from local officials and residents in communities hosting energy facilities. 

This contentious issue has broader implications for the Democrats in 2024, especially in key states like Michigan, part of the crucial “blue wall” that contributed to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.

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