February 24, 2015

MN Clean Energy Bill Would Boost State Economy at Minimal Cost

CHICAGO (February 24, 2015)—Sen. Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield) unveiled legislation that would increase Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (RES) to 40 percent by 2030—a bill the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) called a common-sense measure that would boost Minnesota’s economy.

“Renewable energy has received strong bipartisan support in the past and this time should be no different because investing in more clean energy in Minnesota offers significant economic benefits,” said Steve Frenkel, director of UCS’s Midwest office. “It would diversify the state’s electricity mix, keep rates affordable and reduce reliance on imported electricity.”

UCS recently released a study that found a 40 percent by 2030 RES would:

  • Drive more than $6 billion in new private investments to develop nearly 3,000 megawatts of new renewable energy generation in Minnesota;
  • Inject $155 million annually into Minnesota’s economy to operate and maintain wind and solar facilities by 2030;
  • Generate $14 million in annual state tax revenue that could be used to fund police and fire departments and schools by 2030;
  • Generate nearly $9 million in annual payments to landowners who lease their land to be used for wind turbines by 2030;
  • Increase total electricity expenditures through 2030 by just 0.2 percent—about 12 cents per month—for the typical Minnesota household.

“Minnesota has the chance to not only increase its use of carbon-free energy, but also bolster the economy and create clean jobs across the state at a nominal cost to consumers,” said Frenkel. “ Now is the time to act on this rare opportunity.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.