Michigan Drags Feet In Developing Offshore Wind

It’s been over a year since Michiganís Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council, a bi-partisan commission, created recommendations for a regulatory framework to develop offshore wind. Neither Governor Rick Snyder (R) nor the Michigan state legislature has acted on the recommendations.

The Great Lakes Wind Council recommended that 35 percent of the 38,000 square miles of the state-owned Great Lakes bottomlands, or 13,339 square miles, be considered for offshore wind development. The Council also recommended legislative and rule changes to help move offshore wind development forward.

During the last legislature session, an offshore wind bill was introduced, but it did not advance. The bill would create a framework for developing offshore wind power. Frank Ruswick, deputy director of the Office of the Great Lakes, told Capital News Service that his agency is refining the bill in order to re-introduce it this session. However, the agency has yet to find a legislator to sponsor it.

Although the House and Senate Committees on Energy and Technology have yet to schedule anything about offshore wind, the Senate committee is reviewing progress on Michiganís 2008 law that requires the state to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.

Although the fact that the Senate committee is reviewing progress on the 2008 law does give some cause for optimism, there is a state House bill that would actually ban wind turbines in the Great Lakes. The bill is sponsored by state Representatives Ray Frantz and John Bumstead, both Republicans.

While Snyder and the legislature drag their feet, other countries are developing offshore wind. Bloomberg Business Week reported last week that South Korea will invest $9 billion to develop a 2.5 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm by 2019. By 2020, global offshore wind capacity is expected to reach about 78 GW. Currently it is only 3.5 GW. China is expected to have the most installations at 30 GW, or 38 percent of the global total.


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Renewable Energy Cuts Unemployment in Half


Photo: by Flickr user, FrancesHouseHunt.com


Charlene Tinkham
Charlene Tinkham6 years ago

Let's get going Michigan, turbine wind power is the cleanest way to go. Driving across the country I so look forward to seeing the turbine wind farms along the road. It is so cool to see rows and rows of them. While driving at night, you can see all the red lights atop them in the distance. They are such a need right now in our country so we must get going on this project. I would put one in my back yard if I could.

sherry l.
sherry luciano6 years ago

They have to get off their behinds and do something.

James Hager
James Hager6 years ago

good read, thanks!

Please check out my list of over 100 tree planting petitions at:

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Fiddling while Rome burns...

Carole R.
Carole R.6 years ago

As a resident of Michigan I can say that nothing good is happening here, the reason being that the republicans are in total control. Look at the states where they are in control, nothing positive happening, workers loosing hard-won ground, disregard for teachers, unions, civil liberties under brutal attack,voter suppression. But corporate-person hood is thriving.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

How much campaign dollars does the oil industry spend in Michigan? Bet it's a lot.

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola6 years ago

I have heard pros and cons about wind turbines. I heard and read articles claiming that a large number of migratory birds are mangled and killed by the slicing blades.
Now, below, Gary V. claims that they are not really cost efficient in the long run. I do not know much about them except that someone has developed a prototype that is much taller with flexible blades for withstanding the increasing wind velocities of the higher altitudes. Apparently, more of these prototypes would decrease the global number of slaughtered birds annually.

Pamela D.
Pamela D6 years ago

As already stated by many, the republican's don't want Obama to benefit from anything that might actually work.

Victoria Pitchford
Vicky P6 years ago

of course they are dragging their feet, no money in it, the rich are probably paying them off to stop them from doing it as well.

Marianne C.
Marianne C6 years ago

Gosh, and here listening to Michele Bachmann and Rick Snyder had mislead me into thinking that Michigan was FULL of hot air.

This no doubt has something to do with ties to the oil and gas industry. Just as failure to start building high-mileage cars for so long was connected to resistance from the oil industry.