Dayton administration proposes updated renewable energy standard

Minnesota is now aiming for 25% renewable power by 2030, a goal the state appears on track to hit.

A proposed Minnesota bill would double the amount of renewable electricity that public utilities are required to generate or procure.

GE has partnered with clean power company Juhl Energy to develop the 4.6 MW Red Lake Falls project. About 44% came from coal, 21% from nuclear, and 13% from natural gas. The facility will utilise two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy's Onshore Wind business, in combination with one-megawatt of solar power equipment provided by GE's Current business. By 2020, the power company anticipates 31% of its power mix will be generated from renewables.

Minnesota's renewable energy standard would jump to 50 percent by 2030 under legislation announced Monday by Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.

The renewable standard has fueled economic growth in Minnesota, Smith said.

Clean energy jobs in Minnesota grew 78 percent between 2000 and 2014, growing steadily through the recession, according to a press release.

"The state's moose herd has declined by 50 percent".

"Each solar job means that a skilled craftsman, a recent college graduate, or an entrepreneur is able earn a stable living to feed their family, support their community, and stay in Vermont", said Olivia Campbell Andersen, Renewable Energy Vermont Executive Director.

Twenty-nine US states and the District of Columbia now have renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to sell a specified percentage or amount of renewable power. In California, for example, the renewables goal has been raised repeatedly, to the same 50 percent by 2030 that Minnesota is contemplating. By 2027, that share would increase to 12.5%.

  • Carolyn Briggs