Minnesota’s bold new legislation raises the bar on renewable energy and emissions reductionsCeres
New legislation introduced in Minnesota to expand renewable energy across the state is evidence that momentum is building among lawmakers to get the state back on track to achieve its carbon reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050, Ceres said in a statement.
The bill — introduced in the house by Minnesota Rep. Jamie Long (61-B) and in the Senate by Sen. Nick Frentz (SD 39) — would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to a minimum of 80 percent by 2035 and create a 100 percent carbon-free standard by 2050. On Tuesday, the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division in the Minnesota House of Representatives held an informational hearing on the legislation.
“Ambitious action to increase the renewable energy standard and institute Minnesota’s first carbon-free standard will help set the stage for the next wave of strong clean energy policies in Minnesota,” said Anne Kelly, senior director of policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with investors and companies in Minnesota.
In 2007, Minnesota passed the landmark, bipartisan Next Generation Energy Act, which set a carbon reduction goal of 80 percent by 2050 and raised the state’s renewable energy standard to at least 25 percent by 2025, with a slightly higher standard for Xcel Energy, Minnesota’s largest electric power company. In 2018, Xcel announced plans to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, becoming the first major utility to commit to such a goal. While state utilities are on track to meet the renewable energy standard, the state as a whole is not on track to meet its carbon reduction goal.
“This legislation raises the bar for the state and will help nudge lawmakers to further embrace clean energy. It should send a message to Gov. Tim Walz that Minnesotans and the business community are serious about accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Kelly. “Minnesota companies are already investing in renewable energy and reducing emissions throughout their operations because they have done the math and know that it makes business sense. They also know it is the right thing to do.”
Kelly added, “Policies that encourage renewable energy will allow Minnesota to capture the enormous economic development potential that is possible as companies work to meet their own carbon emission reduction goals.”
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.All Press Releases