Minnesota Got 21% of Electric Power from Renewables in 2015

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Minnesota Got 21% of Electric Power from Renewables in 2015

March 13, 2016

In a report released earlier this month, the Minnesota Department of Commerce says the state generated 21% of its electricity from renewables in 2015. That thoroughly trounces the 13% rate of renewable energy generation nationwide (a 2014 number expected to rise only slightly for 2015).

Wind energy makes up the lion’s share of Minnesota’s renewables, producing 17% of the state’s total energy base. Solar was less than 1% in 2015, but that’s not because there’s not enough sun up there—the report says Minnesota’s solar generation is expected to increase 15-fold in 2016, which by itself would take Minnesota’s renewable rate to the upper 20s.

That puts the state well ahead of its policy goal of making its electricity 25% renewable by 2025. That goal was put in place by lawmakers in 2007, with a clear economic motivation—Minnesota must import the coal it burns to generate the bulk of its electricity. Coal’s share of Minnesota’s energy mix dropped from 66% in 2000 to 44% last year, part of larger trends that are hammering the coal industry.

SOURCE:  Fortune

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