POLICY

OUR POSITION

Michigan's independent power producers have been an important part of the state's energy portfolio for nearly 30 years. Good energy policy preserves this generating capacity and all the economic, environmental and technical benefits it provides.

Michigan Biomass supports state and federal policy that ensures independent power producers have access to electricity markets, and promotes all forms of renewable energy on a level playing field: wind, solar, geothermal, and other forms of biomass, such as the anaerobic digestion (AD) of manure and food byproducts.

Michigan Biomass Leaf

We support forest management practices that promote the long-term sustainability of the state's and nation's forest resources to the benefit of its multiple stakeholders: economic, environmental and social.

Michigan Biomass Leaf

We support a robust and sustainable forest products industry, and in allowing open markets to determine the best use of resources.

Michigan Biomass Leaf

We support waste management policies that promote reuse and recycling, steering materials away from landfills to more beneficial uses, such as processing scrap wood and scrap tires into fuel.

Michigan Biomass Leaf

We support public-private partnerships and collaboration amongst stakeholder groups such as loggers, foresters, landowners, and the industries that rely on these resources.

DOMESTIC ENERGY, LOCAL ECONOMIES

Biomass power is home-grown, Michigan-made energy that provides a market for low-value wood fiber in areas that depend on its natural resources for their livelihoods. It's an important forest management tool, provides beneficial use for wood byproducts that would otherwise go to waste, and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.

GOOD ENERGY POLICY INCLUDES BIOMASS

Michigan Biomass is committed to informing and educating the general public, policymakers and related sectors and industries on the values of biomass power.

We support ENERGY policy that:

  • Preserves existing biomass power capacity
  • Provides market access to independent power producers
  • Recognizes biomass as part of a flexible, responsive and diverse energy portfolio
  • Recognizes the non-power values of biomass power — economic, technical, social and environmental
  • Provides a level economic and regulatory playing field with other forms of power generation
REGULATION

Michigan Biomass supports reasonable regulation that protects Michigan's air and water, and provides clear and achievable standards.

Biomass power plants are regulated by state and federal clean air, clean water and energy statutes, with oversight from the U.S. EPA, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Biomass fuels must also meet state and federal standards under plant operating permits. Fuels must also meet statutory requirements to qualify as a renewable energy source under Michigan's RPS. Biomass fuels must also meet state and federal standards under plant operating permits. Fuels must also meet statutory requirements to qualify as a renewable energy source under Michigan's RPS. Traditional biomass fuels such as forest residuals (tops, limbs), wood byproducts (sawdust, cut-offs) and clean recycled wood (crates, pallets) qualify as fuel under state and federal regulation, and as renewable energy sources under the RPS.

BIOMASS AND MICHIGAN'S RPS

Michigan Biomass supports renewable energy standards that promote and recognize the values of biomass power generation, and the benefits of a diverse energy portfolio that includes baseload renewable energy production.

Power generated from wood and wood byproducts qualifies as a renewable power source under Michigan's RPS, which requires electricity providers to supply 10% of their power from renewable resources starting in 2015 and continuing through 2029. Eligible biomass includes wood, food byproducts, agriculture byproducts and resources, and landfill gas.

Opportunities to expand Michigan's RPS must be prudent, well thought-out, and cost effective to minimize impact on ratepayers and citizens, and ensure there are cost effective renewable resources to meet those objectives.

PURPA

Members of Michigan Biomass sell their power under long-term power purchase agreements to Consumers Energy Co. under the terms of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). Because of these agreements, these facilities are impacted differently than new renewable energy system under Michigan's RPS. We support policies that preserve the integrity of these agreements and the intent of PURPA legislation.

FUEL RESOURCES

Michigan Biomass supports resource policy that fosters and sustains forest resources, a robust and competitive forest products industry, and a capable and efficient supply chain. It also supports policies that encourage the beneficial use of secondary materials that create markets, jobs and preserves landfill space.

Forest health and productivity are important to everyone. Sustainably managed woodlands provide wildlife habitat and space for recreation as well as the raw material for the things we need every day, like building materials and bathroom tissue, extracts used in products like varnish and shoe polish, and energy.

Michigan's wood-fired power plants are integral to the state's forest products industry and rely on it for forest residues and wood wastes to make our electricity. That industry relies on us to provide a market for wood fiber that would otherwise go to waste, which results in lower costs to consumers.

The citizens of Michigan, and the environmental, also benefit from policies that divert wastes from landfills and encourage sustainable markets that put these materials to a better use: reduce, reuse, recycle.

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