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The movement toward renewable energy and wind power has its roots in recent Michigan law.
In October 2008 the State of Michigan passed a bi-partisan bill (SB213) requring that 10% of the State's energy come from renewable resources by 2015 (see who voted for it). We're on track to meet that goal and the Michigan Public Service commission has said that the renewable energy standard is doing exactly what it was intended to do. It's creating jobs, sparking new innovation in the state, and it's providing power at a cost $41 cheaper per MwH than new coal plants can.
This year in 2012 a new effort is underway, as a ballot proposal this November, to increase Michigan's use of wind, solar, and biomass to 25% by 2025.
Is Michigan moving entirely to wind power?
No. Michigan is not moving entirely to renewable energy or wind power. Instead, it is working to diversify its energy portfolio and rely less on any one energy source. The amount of renewable energy may increase to 20% or 25% some day in the future. But right now, the goal is 10%.
How does Michigan currently generate power?
For comparison, as of 2011 Michigan gets its power from the following sources:
- Coal: 60.2%
- Natural Gas: 10%
- Nuclear: 25.8%
- Hydroelectric and other renewables: 3.6%
The move toward a greater share of renewable energy sources is part of an attempt to make Michigan more energy independent, stabilize electricity prices in the long term, and gain a larger market share of the nation's alternative energy industry for job growth.