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State utilities commit to 50% clean energy by 2030

Carl Wycoff

An environmental group has ended its ballot initiative to increase renewable energy in Michigan after Consumers Energy and DTE agreed to 50% clean energy by 2030.

The original ballot proposal, from Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan, called for 30% renewable energy by 2030. The utilities announced a goal of 50% clean energy by 2030, with 25% of that coming from renewable sources.

The state already has a goal of 15% renewable energy by 2021.

John Freeman is with the Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan.

“Even though we felt good about the ballot initiative there are no guarantees so we were willing to come to an agreement where everybody got something.”

Freeman says he thinks the popularity of the initiative, which had over 350-thousand signatures, was what brought the utilities to the table.

“If we had put this on the ballot and it had been enacted it would have the force of law and we don’t have that. But we do have something that is pretty good.”

Freeman said the plan will be submitted to the Public Service Commission, which regulates the utilities.

He said the clean energy goal means both Consumers and DTE will increase energy efficiency amongst their ratepayers by about 25%, with the other 25% coming from renewable energy.

In a joint written statement, the CEO of DTE and Consumers Energy said quote “our two companies are overwhelmingly in favor of renewable energy and are focused on bringing additional energy efficiency opportunities to our customers.”