Minnesota Charts A Path To Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The current population of the state of Minnesota is estimated to be 5.66 million people. In May 2019, state utilities used coal (31.8%), renewable energy (29.7%), nuclear power (22.8%) and natural gas (15.7%) to generate electricity. Wind, hydropower, biomass and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s reliance on coal contributes to state’s above average electricity prices. In May 2019, the average cost of electricity in Minnesota was U.S. 13.9 ¢ per kWh, which is the 18th most expensive state in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States in May 2019 was 13.3 ¢ per kWh.

On March 4, 2019, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz established an ambitious energy plan for the state to get 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. The plan includes development of new renewable energy projects and transportation electrification to dramatically reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Governor Walz’s energy plan encourages close collaboration with all the state utilities. On December 4, 2018, Minnesota’s largest utility, Xcel Energy announced that all their power facilities will be 80% carbon-free by 2035 and 100% by 2050.

Xcel has recently filed transportation electrification proposals with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The companies plan is designed to grow electric vehicle (EV) adoption with financial incentives and the development of EV charging stations and infrastructure. Xcel’s plan focuses on the home charging, fleet charging and public fast charging markets.

States that have worked closely with the private sector have made significant progress in moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gases. In my opinion, Minnesota has a viable plan that will deliver reliable, sustainable, low cost energy to consumers.

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