Minneapolis -- Today, only a week after St. Paul’s announcement that the city has set a goal of making all buildings carbon neutral by 2050, Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center (RPC) released a new report showing why a 100% renewable future is well within reach.
The report, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Positions America for a 100% Renewable Future, provides an assessment of the growth of key technologies needed to power the nation with clean, renewable energy, including wind, solar, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles.
Since 2008, Minnesota has seen a 550 percent increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun --and more than doubled wind power production. The evidence is clear: a cleaner, healthier economy powered by renewable energy is within our reach.
“I applaud Mayor Melvin Carter and Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark for setting bold clean energy goals, both for St. Paul’s city-owned buildings and for the community as a whole,” said Tim Schaefer, director of Environment Minnesota RPC. “Minnesotans deserve energy and housing infrastructure that’s resilient, clean, and affordable for everyone.
The report comes as a diverse group of U.S. cities, states, corporations and institutions commit to 100 percent renewable energy. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the country to set a 100 percent renewable energy requirement, and similar bills in both Massachusetts and California have cleared major hurdles this year. At the local level, 61 American cities, led by a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors, have committed to that goal, including Minneapolis and Rochester. Minneapolis announced its 100% renewable goal just this April.
“Now is the perfect time for Minnesota to renew its push for clean energy,” said Schaefer. “While utilities like Xcel Energy have made some progress, they’re set to blow past our state’s modest renewable energy standard. We need to set an aggressive state renewable standard of 50% by 2030, require serious investment in wind and solar in Xcel’s 2019 Resource Plan, and reject further investments in outdated, expensive power sources like natural gas and nuclear.”
"Environment Minnesota RPC’s report provides the proof that America's investment in renewable energy is the default, most cost-effective future for the country's energy system,” said John Farrell, director of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “It happens to be good for the environment, too.”
Repowering our economy with clean, renewable energy can put our nation on a healthier, more sustainable course. And with rapid improvements in technology, vast clean energy resources, and a willing public, a future powered entirely by clean, renewable energy is increasingly within our reach.
Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.EnvironmentMinnesotaCenter.org.