Midwest climate and clean energy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Samantha Williams commented that the utility is “the first to set an accelerated 2040 timeline and to lead with clean energy”.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reported that Consumers Energy has shown one of the largest improvements in energy efficiency among 52 utility companies. It has also been recognized for its leadership in reducing energy waste and focus on green energy.
In 2040 Consumers Energy set out to have two natural gas power plants operating with the company being able to retrofit one or both plants with on-site carbon capture.
Consumers’ President and CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement:
“We don’t have all the answers yet, but our Clean Energy Plan is a great start. We have the know-how and the time to continue innovating and creating to solve this problem.
Previously environmentalist groups petitioned the company to stop with its remaining gas plant plans ahead of 2040. Although environmentalists would like Consumers to stop all fossil fuel, the net-zero plan that is currently in place stands out from other utility commitments and announcements. This is due to other utilities promising carbon offsets while planning the development of new gas generations.
NRDC’s Williams said:
Net-zero commitments have become a trend in the electric power industry, and it’s important we examine just how serious those commitments are. given the urgency of the climate crisis … It’s significant [Consumers is] doing all of this without digging the hole deeper with new gas plants.
The climate crisis requires moving away from gas-fired power and toward clean energy as quickly as possible. While we need to see more details on how Consumers will meet that need in the long-term, the near-term plan suggests they’re heading down the right path.
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel has commended Consumers Energy for the effort shown saying:
The Attorney General’s office looks forward to working with Consumers Energy in the coming years to achieve that goal while also ensuring the proper protections are in place for Michigan ratepayers.
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