Michigan House passes bill addressing pyrolysis, MSW

By Erin Voegele | January 08, 2015

A bill passed by the Michigan House of Representatives in late 2014 aims to amend the state’s Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act to allow fuel manufactured from certain waste sources to be defined as a renewable energy source and allow for the use of pyrolysis technologies in the generation of renewable energy. The Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act, signed into law in October 2008, established Michigan’s renewable energy portfolio (RPS), which requires electric providers to achieve a retail supply portfolio that includes at least 10 percent renewable energy by 2015.

On Dec. 4, the Michigan House passed H.B. 5205 by a vote of 63-46. According to a bill summary published by the House Energy and Technology Committee, the bill would take several actions to amend the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act, including the removal of unnecessary burdens on the appropriate use of solid was as a clean energy source. The summary also indicates the measure would allow fuel manufactured from municipal solid waste (MSW) and certain other waste sources to be considered a renewable energy source. The bill would also allow or the use of pyrolysis technologies in the generation of renewable energy and remove a prohibition on granting a renewable energy credit for energy generated from MSW incinerators by exceeding the incinerator’s nameplate capacity.

According to the summary, the bill would also revise and add several definitions to the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act. One such change would revise the term renewable energy to include both electricity and steam generated using a renewable energy system. Within the summary, the committee indicates that in addition to the energy credits awarded for the production of electricity by a renewable energy system, the bill would also allow for energy credits and Michigan Incentive Renewable Energy Credits to be awarded for the production of steam.

The bill was transmitted to the Michigan Senate on Dec. 4, where it was referred to the Committee on Energy and Technology on Dec. 9. A full copy of the legislation and summary can be downloaded from the Michigan Legislature website