by Associated Press (March 5, 2016) www.TwinCities.com
A new report by the Minnesota Commerce Department says the state could beat its goals for electricity generated by renewable energy.
Minnesota generated 21 percent of its electricity from solar, wind, hydro and biomass power in 2015, up from 6 percent a decade ago, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce report.
State lawmakers in 2007 adopted aggressive renewable energy goals, calling for Minnesota to produce 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The department’s report suggests the state will meet or beat that goal, according to Minnesota Public Radio News.
“Minnesota’s commitment to renewable energy is showing clear results,” Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement. “We have reduced our dependence on polluting coal that must be imported from outside the state while increasing our own clean energy made right here in Minnesota. It’s a tremendous benefit for our energy sector, our economy and jobs, and our environment.”
Minnesota Public Radio News says 17 percent of the state’s electricity was generated by wind energy compared to 3 percent in 2005, while coal-fired electricity dropped from 62 percent in 2005 to 44 percent in 2015.
Citing recent congressional action to extend federal wind and solar tax incentives for five years, Rothman said it makes sense for Minnesota to raising its goal and have at least 40 percent of its electricity generated by renewables by 2030. Solar-driven electricity, “is primed for dramatic growth,” he said.
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