The Minnesota Way
The passage of the Next Generation Energy Act in 2007 began the rapid expansion of clean energy in Minnesota. It resulted in billions of dollars in private investment, millions paid in county tax revenue, and thousands of new jobs across Minnesota. How did it happen?
Fresh Energy presents the story of what led to Governor Tim Pawlenty's signing one of the most far-reaching and bipartisan bills in a generation:
Will Minnesota policymakers follow the corporate commitment to clean energy?
Brianna Murphy, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium Asset Management, reports in MinnPost that corporations' investment in clean energy "is not only environmentally altruistic — it’s a way to boost corporate profitability while addressing the risks of climate change."
(The two branches of the MN legislature passed energy bills that have opposite goals. The MN Senate passed an energy bill that would increase the percent of electricity produced from renewable sources to 40 percent by 2030. The MN House, in contrast. passed a bill that would roll back the requirements of the 2013 energy bill.) Read Ms. Murphy's article:
Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota
John Farrell is a top expert on distributed energy in our state and the nation. He has shown how the shift from fossil fuel based to renewable energy can contribute to the economic growth of communities throughout the U.S. because renewable energy does not have to be centralized as do fossil fuels and nuclear power. Farrell is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He also publishes the monthly Think Again MN newsletter and is a past Vice-President of Think Again MN.
Farrell is the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and refined policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) so they support locally owned renewable energy development.
Listen to John Farrell's webinar, "Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy, " especially the first 20 minutes. Follow the slides below the audio presentation. Read his 2014 article "Community Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota" to find out how Community Solar Gardens work. Read Farrell's recent article "Why Minnesota 's Community Solar Garden Program is the Best" to discover why Minnesota will soon have more solar gardens than all other states combined. To keep up with the latest developments in renewable energy in Minnesota, the U.S., and Europe, subscribe to his weekly email newsletter at the top or bottom of the webpages for the above webinar and articles.