Michigan Made Power Puts Michigan to Work!
Michigan made power sources - wind, solar, and biomass- are putting West Michigan to work right now. From Energetx in Holland, MI to L3, Mart Dock and Kaydon Bearings in Muskegon, to Great Lakes Heavy Haul and Burke E. Porter Machinery in Grand Rapids.
Unfortunately, we in Michigan get 60% of our power from coal and import 100% of it. Each year we send $1.4 billion Michigan dollars out of state to buy coal from Wyoming and Montana instead of investing first in Michigan businesses, Michigan innovation, and Michigan jobs.
We have the businesses, we have the workforce. Let's use Michigan made power.
The cost of coal is skyrocketing while the cost of renewable energy falls
Coal isn't cheap. And in fact, it's getting more expensive by the year. The Michigan Public Service commission puts the cost of energy from a new coal fired power plant at $133 per megawatt-hour, vs $75 per megawatt-hour from renewable energy.
States like Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Illinois have more renewable energy than Michigan and are seeing their electricity costs decline or stabilize, while Michigan sees double digit increases in electricity rates year after year. In 2012 alone, DTE raised their electricity rates by 14, reporting to the Public Service Commission that a large part of the cost is based on the increased cost of transporting millions of tons of coal 1000 miles across the country into Michigan. That's a lot of diesel!
Fun fact: Each ton of coal takes 6 gallons of diesel to get to Michigan. Michigan imports 35 million tons of coal per year. That's 210 million gallons of diesel to move coal into Michigan...and as the cost of gas rises, so does the cost of mining and shipping coal.
That's just one reason why coal costs continue to climb.
"Although it’s commonly said that the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal with more than 200 years worth of reserves, digging up those coal reserves and delivering them to customers has been getting more expensive.
That’s because of rising costs of transportation, explosives, wages — and geology. In most areas, companies first dig coal from areas that are easiest to access and that have the thickest, richest seams. Over time, however, it becomes more expensive to mine — and more difficult to do so profitably."
Meanwhile the city of Holland, Michigan, October 2012, signed on to get wind power at 4.5 cents per kWh...cost competitive with existing coal plants.
A few states that either have a higher renewable energy standard or use more renewable energy than Michigan:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- New York
- New Jersey