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Michigan Rep. Pam Byrnes has unveiled a plan to increase the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which would spur alternative energy production and employment.

Byrnes wants Michigan's RPS to be increased to 30% by 2025. Legislation passed last year requires 10% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2015.

"Michigan's alternative energy sector is in prime position to be the spark that jump-starts our economy," says Byrnes, a sponsor of the plan. "We need to do all we can to be a leader in renewable energy and attract jobs in new energy industries."

The legislation will position Michigan as a leader in producing alternative energy, as well as manufacturing energy-efficient products and components for renewable energy systems.

Byrne's plan would accomplish the following:

- create incentives for alternative energy companies to come to Michigan by requiring that 30% electricity come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy by 2025;

- require utilities to work with their customers to decrease electricity usage so utilities sell 2% less energy each year;

- revise building codes to increase energy efficiency; and

- encourage residents and businesses to become alternative energy entrepreneurs by allowing them to sell the excess energy they create via renewable sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

SOURCE: Michigan House Democrats


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