Detroit Today

Tire Scraps & Trash: Michigan's New Sources of Renewable Energy?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Laura speaks with the Director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center at Wayne State University Nick Schroeck about a renewable energy bill that has some environmentalists shaking their heads.

House Bill 5205, which worked its way through the House and is currently in the Senate, would amend the way we define renewable energy in Michigan. It would erase the lines of the law that currently define renewable energy, allowing for a much broader scope of items, such as solid waste, to be classified as renewable energy.

Schroeck explains that the bill essentially says that waste incinerators could be renewable energy sources. In recent years, Michigan has rapidly increased its use of wind energy as part of Michigan's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires Michigan utilities to source ten percent of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources. This bill would amend the definition of renewable energy, to make room for the inclusion of municipal waste, tires and even railroad ties.