MIDWEST ENERGY NEWS: Michigan tea party legislator pushing for more clean energy

"Rep. Gary Glenn, a first-term Tea party Republican who also heads the state chapter of the American Family Association, says he wants to incentivize — 'not mandate' — solar energy growth in the state.

...Glenn is the majority vice chair of the House Energy Policy Committee who observers say has taken a strong interest in energy issues this session.

...Glenn says his overall goal is to incentivize, not mandate, clean-energy growth here. ...'I don’t believe in mandating any form of energy, but we should be incentivizing solar as much as possible.'

...Instead of eliminating net metering — as major investor-owned utilities want to see — Glenn wants to lift the 1 percent cap and allow people to be credited for the energy they put back on the grid at the same retail rate they get it from utilities. 'As part of a competition-driven, free-market and incentive-based package, it gives consumers choice,' Glenn said.

...Glenn’s proposal could end up being the fourth sweeping energy policy to surface this year as Michigan’s 10 percent renewable energy standard levels off at the end of 2015.

...As in other states across the country, Glenn represents a group of Michigan Republicans pushing for more renewable energy but doing so through the market or mechanisms other than standards.

The Green Tea Coalition and the group Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed — headed by former Republican Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. — are mobilizing in states where they say policies conducive to rooftop solar are being attacked by large utilities that feel threatened by increasing amounts of distributed generation.

...In addition to allowing customers seeking renewable energy to get it from an alternative supplier, Glenn also wants to open up the choice market to all taxpayer-funded entities, such as K-12 schools, universities, prisons, and all 'state and political subdivisions.'"

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