Minnesota reaps rewards of clean energy focus

Published on July 18, 2016 by Alyssa Michaud

A recent report on Minnesota’s energy market by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) shows that the state’s new commitment to clean energy is having a dramatic and positive impact on energy efficiency and prices.

“Minnesota is using renewable energy sources more than ever before, with 22 percent of its electricity coming from renewables in 2015, and natural gas is also becoming more important in its power mix, providing 13 percent in 2015,” Colleen Regan, head of North American Environmental Markets and Cross-sector Research at BNEF and co-author of the report, said.

BNEF and BCSE found that wind and biomass generation has grown by more than 50 percent, taking advantage of new state policies that support renewable. The report also ranked Minnesota 10th in the nation for utility and public benefits programs in 2015. Additionally, coal-fired electricity generation in the state has dropped by eight percent after 396 MW of coal plants went offline last year, the report said.

“What we see in Minnesota is similar to what we have seen in other parts of the country – states are benefitting from the transition to cleaner sources of energy,” Lisa Jacobson, president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, said. “Thanks to the state’s policy leadership, Minnesotans can look forward to seeing more cheap sustainable energy and less pollution from traditional energy sources. We’re encouraged by these results and look forward to watching as the sector continues to grow.”