Duly Noted . . .

Lazard Report: Wind and solar now cheaper than natural gas, much cheaper than coal



Michigan business leaders have praised a new Lazard report showing that wind and solar energy are now cheaper than natural gas. By increasing the state’s renewable energy standard, the Michigan Legislature can rein in rising electricity costs by ensuring utility companies lock in low rates for wind and solar.

“As legislators update Michigan’s energy policy, they must know that increasing our renewable energy standard will allow businesses to take advantage of drastic declines in the cost of wind and solar,” said Andy LaBarre, executive vice president for the A2Y Regional Chamber. “Advances in technology and private-sector competition have changed the market dramatically and Michigan must seize this opportunity to incorporate low-cost renewable energy as we plan our energy future.”

Since 2009, the costs of utility-scale solar have declined 80 percent, and utility-scale wind by 60 percent, according to the report. Businesses across the state and global corporations have called for the protection and expansion of Michigan’s renewable energy standard, including Google, Whirlpool, Staples, the Michigan Agri-Business Association and more.

“Renewable energy is one issue that the technology workforce cares deeply about when evaluating the communities in which they want to invest, live and work,” said Joe Malcoun, CEO of Nutshell, Inc.  “For us to be nationally competitive for the best talent in high-growth tech, Michigan must demonstrate its commitment to a clean, forward-looking energy future.”

Nutshell, Inc. is an Ann Arbor-based technology company and provider of web-based customer relationship management software.

In March of last year, Gov. Rick Snyder announced his goal of meeting up to 40 percent of Michigan’s energy needs through renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2025.

“By requiring utilities to lock in long-term contracts for affordable renewable energy, legislators can protect ratepayers from the price shocks associated with natural gas and other fossil fuels,” said Brianna Murphy, Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium Asset Management. “Increasing Michigan's renewable energy standard is a pro-business, pro-ratepayer policy that sends a message to businesses looking to expand and invest in Michigan: We're committed to keeping electricity costs down.”

Trillium Asset Management is an employee-owned investment management firm with over $2 billion in assets under management.

 

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