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Letter from Brent Bailey 25x25 State Facilitator
Dear Missouri 25x’25 State Alliance Partners,
There is a clear legislative threat to the growth and viability of the clean, renewable energy sector in Missouri. HB 44 (http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills131/billpdf/perf/HB0044P.PDF) has moved through the MO House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate chamber for consideration and action. HB 44 effectively nullifies the intent of the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and virtually eliminates the opportunity for renewable energy investments, job creation, and rural economic development for the immediate future. This bill was introduced in the Senate last week after the House voted 95-46 to approve the measure.
The original rule allows for a wide range of eligible renewable energy resources – wind, solar, biomass, methane, etc. - from which electricity can be derived to meet the objectives of the current law. HB 44 wishes to make all hydroelectric generation facilities located in Missouri, hydroelectric generation facilities that are owned by a Missouri utility, or hydroelectric generation under a power purchase agreement with a Missouri utility (even if it is located out of state) classified as a certified renewable energy resource. This move would decimate the market for future distributed renewable generation projects. Please reach out to your members and your elected officials and distribute to your friends, co-workers and others who are supportive of advancing a diversified renewable energy sector in Missouri. Instead of halting progress and reversing course, please help promote the multiple benefits that renewable energy development and deployment has brought and can bring to the state.
Clean, renewable energy should not be a partisan litmus test. The significant economic impacts and energy diversity benefits should not be ignored. These benefits should be embraced and supported by business-minded policy makers. A recent 25x’25 REsource blog brought attention to this issue.
Again, please spread the message that current RES should not be amended and voice your opposition to efforts to weaken clean energy policy inMissouri. Success in Missouri is key to meeting the national 25x’25 goal with ag and forestry leading the way.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter further. Thanks and make it a good week.
25x'25 State Facilitator
MI Public Service Commission: Renewables Less Expensive than Coal, Spark Economy
Feb. 23, 2012
New report shows renewable energy standard creates jobs; utilities on track to meet RES
LANSING – A Michigan Public Service Commission report shows Michigan’s renewable energy standard is directly sparking Michigan’s economy, generating $100 million in investments, spurring manufacturing and business growth, and creating jobs, the Energy Innovation Business Council said today. The report also shows that renewable energy now costs less than coal.
Read the full report at http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc.
“Michigan manufacturers and businesses see firsthand how a renewable energy standard drives economic growth, innovation, investments and job creation, and this report validates the need for a strong renewable energy standard,” said Jeff Metts, CEO of Astraeus Wind, a manufacturing company based in Eaton Rapids. “Other states are aggressively pursuing strategies to grow their renewable energy and manufacturing sectors. Michigan must roll up our sleeves and aggressively position ourselves to compete for new opportunities and jobs, or get left behind.”
The MPSC report on the RES enacted in 2008 included the following highlights:
Additionally, Mlive.com reported Feb. 16 that Consumers Energy significantly lowered its renewable energy charge from $2.50 to only 65 cents a month because renewable energy costs continue to decrease.
While the MPSC report says Michigan is on track to meet the RES by 2015, only around 3.6 percent of Michigan’s electricity currently comes from renewables. In comparison, 21 percent of Iowa’s electricity already comes from renewables. In addition, neighboring Midwest states such as Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota have renewable energy standards higher than Michigan’s.
“Michigan’s renewable energy sector is providing solid financial, social and ecological values for Michigan because of our renewable energy standard. Michigan utilities that are investing in advanced energy such as wind and solar deserve full credit for embracing the future and creating new economic opportunities,” said Rich Vander Veen, president of Mackinaw Power in Lowell. “The MPSC report shows a renewable energy standard establishes energy security and makes good economic sense for Michigan businesses and ratepayers. New wind farms are providing solid income to local communities and landowners, and this helps protect family farms for future generations.”
“Michigan’s advanced energy manufacturing companies are retooling, our workers are retraining and we are rebuilding our economy, thanks to positive programs such as our renewable energy standard,” said EIBC President Ed Clemente. “Michigan is showing the world that we are once again a great place for innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing. The MPSC report demonstrates how advanced and renewable energy can diversify our economy, bring new opportunities for business and move us forward.”
Earlier this month, the EIBC released a study showing Michigan’s advanced energy manufacturing sector – solar, wind, advanced energy storage and batteries, and biomass – generates $5 billion a year in economic activity and supports 20,500 jobs a year. The study is one of the first of its kind in the nation because it used real-world manufacturing data.
About the Energy Innovation Business Council
Global, national and statewide demand for clean, renewable sources of energy continues to grow – and Michigan has the resources to become a significant contributor to this growing new energy economy.
The Energy Innovation Business Council is a trade organization made up of Michigan companies and businesses that are at the forefront of this important sector. Our members are engaged in clean energy manufacturing and other areas of the new energy economy that is creating opportunities and jobs for Michigan.
Launched in 2012 as a voluntary membership organization, EIBC is excited to invite all Michigan businesses interested in the clean energy economy to join the council. Together, EIBC can be an even stronger advocate for clean energy innovation, entrepreneurship, opportunities and jobs.
The EIBC aims to diversify and accelerate the growth of Michigan’s energy sector and create partnerships to expand business opportunities, secure access to capital, engage the public and policymakers, advocate and build consensus for policy, and advance energy innovation with the goal of generating jobs and economic development.
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