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Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization, Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
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  • May 13, 2021

Food Fight in Michigan - renewables

My home state is in the middle of a food fight between the consultancy hired to look at statewide net-zero by 2050 and the green advocates.

The consultancy indicated that carbon capture should make up between 19 and 37% of the net-zero target by 2050, with the rest being renewables.

Nuclear, large scale storage, and other options were not evident in the consultant’s report. The consultant pointed to integration costs of renewables but missed some of the benefits. Advocates unhappy with the report.

Having read the public report, I can see how no one would be happy, and several ways to fix the report.

Reducing the unhappiness most and improving the energy assurance for all of Michigan.

Probably a weeks’ worth of work with the underlying models and the report would be far better.

Two areas they might scream about though – more Ludington style pumped hydro facilities and more nuclear. Both close major gaps for less carbon and more renewables while keeping costs reasonable.

If only…

More of these reports will be created for other states, hopefully the consultancy selected will bring the full set of tools to the table.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 13, 2021

Having read the public report, I can see how no one would be happy, and several ways to fix the report.

This seems to be too common-- among the worst thing that the clean energy transition advocates can do when it comes to policies is eat their own and work against progress for the sake of any particular pet technologies they champion. 

Doug Houseman's picture
Thank Doug for the Post!
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