Consumers Energy says it will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2040
- Feb 21, 2018 3:56 pm GMT
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The utility plans to generate 40 percent of its power from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy by then,
We believe that climate change is real and we can do our part by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and we also believe it doesnt have to cost more to do it, Poppe said. We believe were going to be on the right side of history on this issue.
Coal is becoming less competitive as the cost of producing renewable energy steadily falls, she added.
Environmental groups praised the move after the utility officially announced the move Monday. But they also urged the utility to make the transition from coal to renewable sources in less than 22 years.
Its a great sign that the tide is turning, said
Power companies are under increasing pressure to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which are trapping heat in the atmosphere and promoting what scientists describe as a dangerously warming climate that will endanger human health and natural systems.
A 2016 state law set a renewables target for
Poppe told the AP that
The utility closed seven of its 12 coal-fired plants in 2016, which the company said had lowered its carbon generation by 38 percent from 2008 levels. Its long-term strategy will yield an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions, Poppe said.
Rapidly developing technology and falling prices are making green energy more cost-effective than it was even a decade ago, when many in the industry warned that mandating use of renewables would drive up rates. Particularly helpful are improvements of systems for storing renewable energy for use when the wind isnt blowing or skies are cloudy, Poppe said.
We dont have to make a suckers choice of either affordable prices or clean energy, she said. We can do whats right for the planet and the customers we serve. We dont think theres a trade-off to be made here.
Along with its renewable energy plan,
The utility says its customers include 6.7 million of Michigans 10 million residents.
DTE last year pledged a carbon emissions cut of more than 80 percent by 2050 by phasing out coal, boosting wind and solar energy, and building a 1,100-megawatt natural gas plant. The company described the new gas facility as essential to providing reliable and affordable power while reducing carbon emissions.
Environmentalists contend DTE and
Gas prices are unpredictable. Theyre low now but theres no certainty they will be in the long term, said