Midwest Energy News

Indiana report says replacing coal with gas more costly than renewables

Correction: A report projecting that replacing coal with natural gas would be a more expensive option for Indiana ratepayers than renewables was commissioned by an energy policy advocacy group. A previous version of this digest misstated its source.

EFFICIENCY: Minneapolis’ gas utility says it is open to a more inclusive on-bill financing program that would let customers pay for efficiency upgrades without credit checks or personal loans. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: A Missouri ratepayer advocate says tree planting and reflective roofs to reduce Kansas City’s urban heat island would produce broader benefits than a utility’s proposed energy efficiency plan. (Energy News Network)

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COAL: Replacing coal with natural gas would cost Indiana customers $12 billion more over the next 30 years than switching to renewables instead, according to a new report by prepared for a state task force. (WBOI)

OHIO:
A federal judge is expected to rule today on whether to give supporters of a referendum on coal and nuclear bailouts 38 more days to collect petition signatures. (Toledo Blade)
• The lead organizer says the referendum was delayed by state officials’ approval and an intimidation campaign by opponents. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

WIND: Building taller wind turbines with shorter blades, along with placing them farther from critical bird habitats, can significantly reduce bird deaths, according to a new study led by a University of Illinois researcher. (Yale Environment 360)

SOLAR:
• Legislation in Michigan would reinstate a net metering program for utility customers who generate their own renewable energy as well as create a new system for valuing solar power. (Crain’s Detroit Business)
• A Minnesota county considers requiring all new solar farms to include vegetation that supports pollinators. (Forum News Service)
• Construction begins on large-scale solar projects in southwestern Wisconsin. (WUWM)

RENEWABLES: A Cleveland suburb becomes the third Ohio city to set a 100% renewable energy goal. (Solar Power World)

CLIMATE:
• “Climate change is real. It’s an incredibly important public policy issue, and we’re right in the middle of it. It’s a responsibility for us,” says the executive chairman of DTE Energy. (Detroit News)
• Researchers say getting to net zero emissions by 2050 is the key takeaway from a 2018 United Nations climate report. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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EMISSIONS:
• A municipal complex in a Chicago suburb is the first governmental building in Illinois to be net zero. (Contractor Magazine)
• Speaking at an event in Detroit, U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says planned auto emission standards could be more restrictive than Obama-era rules by eliminating certain loopholes. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: U.S. Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana and Chris Coons of Delaware say their new Climate Solutions Caucus will push congressional action on climate change. (The Hill)

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