Across the nation, renewable energy leaders include Maine with a target of 40% by 2017, New York with a target of 30% by 2015, California with a target of 33% by 2020 and Texas with a target of 10,000 Megawatts by 2020. Michigan would be the first state in the United States to amend its constitution by ballot initiative to include a Renewable Energy Standard. Other states have incorporated Renewable Energy Standards by statute. . States' definitions for what qualifies as alternative and renewable energies are highly varied, but most state Renewable Protfolio Standards (RPS) primarily support wind power. California has one of the most diverse energy portfolios with percentages of solar, geothermal, and biomass energy that rival those of wind energy. The state of Minnesota has an RES of 25% renewable energy by 2025, yet has a second unique provision, that it's largest power company Xcel must get 30% of it's energy from renewables by 2020.
There are diverse sources of renewable energies that can be used, for example: North Carolina actually requires a percentage (.2%) of the renewable energy be obtained from swine waste. New Mexico's Renewable Energy Standard is for the use of low carbon electricity sources and includes nuclear energy and natural gas as energies that can be used to meet their RES. Texas is now the nation's leader in wind energy. Hawaii, Nevada, and North Carolina each allow energy efficiency to qualify for a portion of the RPS. What types of energy will Michigan's RPS include, and in what percentages? There are no clear answers to this question yet, which concerns those who oppose Proposition 3.
Across the nation, Renewable Portfolio Standards are "typically backed with penalties of some form, often accompanied by a traceable renewable energy certificate (REC) program to facilitate compliance and never designed the same in any two states."(http://eetd.lbl.gov/EA/EMS/reports/lbnl-154e-ppt.pdf) Taking this information into account highlights that Michigan's Renewable Energy Standard could have varied effects on the state, especially depending on how the RES is put into place and enforced.
Some states struggled to meet RPS targets. In Arizona compliance was far below 50% because the specified funding amounts were insufficient to reach compliance amounts. Project delays impeded compliance in Nevada and New York. Massachusetts and Connecticut struggled because Renewable Energy Certificates were not plentiful enough for the plans to work properly. Currently the Michigan Renewable Energy Credit system allows half of Michigan's current RES to be met through the purchase of REC's, which makes reaching the RES more feasible. Proposition 3 doesn't include any information about REC's.
State policy also varies in terms of enforcement. Enforcement mechanisms include alternative compliance payments and financial penalties, but the majority of states have been excused for lack of compliance. Currently, details have not been set forth on how Michigan will handle compliance enforcement. Additionally, it is still "unclear whether an RPS produces net economic value or not."(http://www.erb.umich.edu/Research/Faculty-Research/lyon_yin_rps_energy_journal_proofs_2010.pdf). Though certain aspects of 25X2025 are still uncertain, the policy would surely position Michigan to be a bigger proponent of the clean energy movement.