UM-Flint professor says Michigan will be cleaner, greener in 10 years

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FLINT (WJRT) - (03/17/15) - Last week, we told you about Gov. Snyder's new energy policy, designed to make the state more energy efficient and less reliant on coal.

Now, a professor at UM-Flint thinks the governor is on the right path. He says Michigan will be cleaner and greener in 10 years.

As Snyder said, coal powered generating plants will become harder and harder to find. The professor says an increase in renewable energy is definitely coming.

"I foresee a future where more and more new developments will not come from natural gas, but from renewables," said Seung-Jin Lee, Ph.D., UM-Flint assistant professor.

Lee thinks there will be less and less fossil fuel used to generate electricity in the state over the next few years. Coal is on the way out.

"When it comes to coal, climate change might be a bit controversial to some people, but when it comes to the health impact, there's no question it is pretty detrimental," Lee said.

Right now, about 5 percent of the state's electricity comes from wind. Lee thinks that will be climbing during the next few years.

"Ninety-five percent of new electrical energy generation is actually from renewables," he said.

While solar and biomass play a small roles, it's wind power that will take the lead.

"We can power the entire state of Michigan with just the available potential of wind," Lee said.

That doesn't mean there will be wind turbines in everyone's backyard, but it looks like there will be more wind farms in the state.

We're also using less electricity as we make our homes and business greener.

"The numbers tell us our use of electricity per capita is definitely going down," Lee said.

We're seeing fewer blackouts and brownouts because air conditioners and other appliances are becoming more energy efficient.

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