Michigan’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES)—also known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—establishes a minimum amount of renewable energy that must be sold by the state’s electricity providers. This page identifies and describes the features of the RPS and how they work together to define the minimum amount of renewable energy that will be sold in Michigan. The state also established a separate Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) requiring 1% annual savings over the previous year by 2012 and thereafter, but these are not considered for calculations on this and subsequent pages.
The state profile below explores the design of this policy, highlighting the factors that influence the success of Michigan’s RPS goals and the tradeoffs inherent to it. Once you’re comfortable with the information on this page, you can evaluate the policy’s expected viability with the RPS Feasibility Calculator. You can also use the calculator to change the policy requirements, trajectory, cost cap, and more, to see how altering Michigan’s policy design affects its success.
- 10% of the state’s energy consumption must be from renewable sources by 2015, subject to the cost cap
- No carve-outs
- Explicit cost cap at $3 increase in monthly bill
Carve-outs can create economic opportunities in the state by introducing new or promising technologies into the market. However, these standards limit the utilities’ ability to substitute between renewable energy sources, potentially increasing the cost of the policy. Michigan’s RPS does not have any minimum technology requirements.
Compare the goal established in the RPS to what is being achieved.(Compliance doesn’t begin until 2012)
The following chart compares the variety of sources currently used to generate Michigan’s electricity. The color of each bar is indicative of the carbon intensity of each source.
Cost Cap Details
Michigan’s explicit cost ceiling (PA 295; Section 460.1045(2)) on monthly rate impact is capped at $3.00 for residential customers, $16.58 for secondary commercial customers and $187.50 for primary commercial/industrial customers.
Historic retail prices (¢ / kWh)
The above chart presents historical data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the price at which residential customers can purchase electricity. Typically, states set explicit cost caps relative to the retail price (as opposed to the lower wholesale price).
Michigan’s RPS was enacted by Public Act 295 in October 2008. In total, this act will require that electric providers in Michigan produce 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015, with the first compliance period beginning in 2012. The annual requirements are determined for each utility based on statutorily defined increments between 2007 baseline and the 2015 goal. In addition to these percentage requirements (which can be fulfilled through REC purchases), large utilities have additional capacity requirements of up to 600 MW by 2015, based on the size of the customer base.
RPS Technical Details
|Eligible Technologies||Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Municipal Solid Waste, CHP/Cogeneration, Coal-Fired w/CCS, Gasification, Anaerobic Digestion, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy|
|Geographic Eligibility||If out of state, RECs must be generated within the retail electric customer service territory of any provider that is not an alternative electric supplier (PA 295 295 §29(1))|
|Percent of Total Load||100%|
|Sectors||Municipal Utility, Investor-Owned Utility, Rural Electric Cooperative, Retail Supplier|
|Penalty||Utilities who fail to comply with annual targets may not be allowed to recover the cost of any RECs purchased from ratepayer. The attorney general may file suit against uncooperative utilities. (§ 53)|
Tools and other links
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) RPS data page—Datasets available for download in .xlsx format
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy Analysis Portal—Resources on renewable energy policies, and interactive web tools
- Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. Energy Mapping System—An interactive energy resource map with a myriad of data layers to explore
- DSIRE State RPS Page—Visit for detailed information on RPS and complete legislation
- Feasibility and Implications of the Michigan 2012 Proposal 3 for a 25% State Renewable Portfolio Standard—RDCEP Analyzes the Michigan RPS (Moyer et. al. 2012)
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) State Profile—Your state has a NRDC renewable energy resources profile; find state resources and learn about the technologies being used
- U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)—State Profile—Access your state’s EERE page, and find information on renewable resources maps, energy statistics, and news
- Michigan RPS Compliance Information—Visit for detailed information on RPS and complete legislation