Minnesota generated 21% of its electricity from renewable energy in 2015, up from just six percent a decade ago, putting the state well on pace to exceed its Renewable Energy Standard of 25% by 2025, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Renewable energy includes wind, solar, hydro, and biomass.
“Minnesota’s commitment to renewable energy is showing clear results,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Since 2005, Minnesota’s electric power generated from renewal sources has more than tripled. We have reduced our dependence on polluting coal that must be imported from outside the state, while increasing our own clean energy made right here in Minnesota. It’s a tremendous benefit for our energy sector, our economy and jobs, and our environment.”
In 2007, Minnesota adopted landmark bipartisan legislation, the Next Generation Energy Act. It established one of the nation’s most aggressive Renewable Energy Standards, which requires the state to get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025.
Legislation passed in 2013 also established a Solar Energy Standard, which requires that 1.5% of Minnesota’s electricity come from solar energy by 2020, with a goal of 10% by 2030.
Rothman said, “Recent action by Congress that extends federal wind and solar tax incentives for five years will add further momentum to renewable energy growth. It makes good sense for Minnesota to now look at boosting our Renewable Energy Standard to at least 40% by 2030 and beyond.”
According to 2015 year-end figures compiled by the Minnesota Commerce Department and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 17% of the state’s electricity was generated by wind energy, compared to just 3% in 2005. Meanwhile, coal-fired electricity dropped from 62% in 2005 to 44% in 2015.
Although it contributed less than one percent of the state’s electricity in 2015, solar energy is primed for dramatic growth. In 2016 alone, Minnesota’s solar power generation is expected to increase 15-fold.
Read the full report for further analysis of renewable energy development in Minnesota.
Filed Under: News, Policy