« An Open Letter to Energy Secretary Moniz on Natural Gas Exports | Main | How Electric Vehicles That Feed the Grid Will Pay Off »

May 17, 2013

Big Victory: Minnesota's Landmark Clean Energy Standard Charts Course Beyond Dirty Energy

Minnesota energy has begun a new chapter.

Minnesota has taken a first step in outlining the next big leap forward in the state's sustainable energy future. Pushed by more than 60 environmental, labor, business, youth, and faith groups, the jobs omnibus bill -- expected to be signed by Governor Mark Dayton -- includes a Clean Energy and Jobs package that sets a standard of 1.5 percent solar by 2020 with a broader goal of reaching 10 percent by 2030. This is a great start for a state that is in position to lead the Midwest into the clean-energy economy.

I remember seeing pictures earlier this month of people filling the halls of the Capitol in St. Paul to demand phasing out coal and bringing in clean energy jobs. Legislators, impressed by the turnout, stopped in the rotunda to express their support. The governor even put a picture of the rally on his Facebook page

MN rally

Retiring coal is key to solving climate disruption and investing in healthy communities. But just as important is the transition to clean energy. Minnesota's solar legislation will propel the state's investment in energy innovation, generate jobs, and build on the existing goal of reaching 25 percent renewables by 2025. This new standard includes:

- An estimated 450 megawatts of new solar by 2020 added to the existing 13 MW in the state.

- Community-shared solar. Utilities will offer solar "subscriptions" to anyone who wants to invest in an off-site project and receive credits on their energy bill. This is perfect for Minnesotans who rent or have shady roofs.

- A solar tariff. Minnesota will be one of the first states in the country to adopt a tariff that will pay homeowners who generate and pump clean energy back into the grid.

- The commission of a study to explore how Minnesota can achieve an energy system free of burning fossil fuels over the next several decades.

Critics have complained that this will increase rates. But they conveniently overlook the fact that the cost of Big Coal has sharply increased, while solar and other renewables have been steadily getting cheaper. This is one reason why the vast majority of Minnesotans support more wind and solar. They are tired of polluters calling the shots. That's why their representatives have taken action by paving the way for a bright energy future.  

-- Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Director

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b96069e20191023ec380970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Big Victory: Minnesota's Landmark Clean Energy Standard Charts Course Beyond Dirty Energy:


User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed



Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.