Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College public radio Q-90.1 FM.
The Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, broadcast:
1 – More than $1.8 billion has been invested since Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard was signed into law in 2008.
The figures come from a third annual report (pdf) by the Michigan Public Service Commission on a public act that established a standard of 10 percent renewables by 2015.
For 2011, Michigan’s estimated renewable energy percentage was 4.4 percent, up from 3.6 percent in 2010.
For 2012, renewables are expected to have reached 4.7 percent, according to the Commission. During 2012, more renewable energy came online in Michigan that ever before, officials say.
Michigan added 815 megawatts of new wind capacity last year, and now has a total of 978 megawatts from 14 operating wind farms, located in spots including Michigan’s Thumb.
The report says that compared to building a new, conventional coal-fired facility, most renewable energy contracts have been significantly lower in price. The cost of renewable energy contracts also has come in below previous estimates.
Voters in November rejected a ballot proposal to raise Michigan’s renewable standard.
Gov. Rick Snyder has planned public meetings across the state this year to discuss Michigan’s energy future. One is planned for Delta College’s Lecture Theater from 1-5 p.m. on March. 4.
An agenda for that Delta meeting includes presentations by Dow, Clean Water Action, and Consumers Energy, and time for public comment.
2 – The totals are in from the Adopt-a-Beach program.
In 2012, hundreds of teams and thousands of volunteers spread out on the five Great Lakes to clean up litter and conduct environmental monitoring as part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ program.
Those teams included one from Saginaw Valley State University. That team worked on the public beach at the Bay City State Recreation Area in Bay County’s Bangor Township.
By the numbers, 327 coastal areas were visited in 2012.
A total of 42,351 pounds of trash was removed by 12,618 volunteers on 372 Adopt-a-Beach teams.
Litter removed from beaches in 2012 was made up mostly of food-related items, at 43 percent.
Cigarette filters came in second, at 34 percent. Cigar tips made up 6 percent. Plastic bags made up 5 percent.
This year’s Adopt-a-Beach events kick off in the spring.