Issues

Issues

188-2: Minnesota Sets Standard for Land Use on Solar Sites

Vegetative Cover on Solar Site

Authored by agriculture leaders, a new law sends a clear signal to the solar industry regarding a preferred practice for use of land on solar sites. State-wide standard will meaningfully help Minnesota’s bees, monarchs, pheasants, and songbirds, by providing abundant, high-quality foraging habitat on solar sites.

View Full Story

Clean Energy

2016 Legislative Session Summary

capitol_minnesota

With so many topics being debated, it was hard for any issue to be resolved. Even bonding and transportation, two of the highest priorities for communities, legislators, and Governor Mark Dayton, received no action – with frantic debate going right down to the wire. Thankfully, were were able to move forward with several wins on energy and protect our foundational energy policies.

View Full Story

Clean Energy

Fresh Energy Shaping the Grid of the Future

Downtown_Minneapolis_and_Power_Lines_at_night_15188621413

Minnesota’s current grid was designed to move electricity from coal plants to consumers hundreds of miles away. New technologically-advanced energy systems are coming into the market, but many projects are stopped or stalled at the point when they need to connect to the electric grid.

View Full Story

Energy Efficiency

Fixed charged increase denied by Minnesota regulators

decoupling

Minnesota regulators have denied an increase to CenterPoint Energy’s monthly fixed charge, instead pointing to the company’s current decoupling policy as the best way to balance revenue requirements with energy savings.

View Full Story

Global Warming

175 nations sign the Paris Climate Agreement

Untitled

Over 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Earth Day, April 22, signing the Paris Agreement, the first global commitment on climate change. Signers included the big emitters: the U.S., China, India, and Russia. World leaders were united in speaking of the urgency to act on climate change, calling for scaled up actions, and saying that political will was never stronger. Leaders also committed to rapid national processes to approve the agreement. However, while the landmark signing ceremony made history, global temperatures keep shattering records. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explained, “We are in a race against time.”

View Full Story

Global Warming

Nation-leading news: Judge recommends Minnesota use federal “social cost of carbon”

SONY DSC

A huge win for Minnesota on April 15 – a judge, after over a year of expert testimony, legal briefs, and public hearings, recommended to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that it adopt the federal “social cost of carbon” as the binding external cost of carbon dioxide emissions for all electric utility decision making. That means that the PUC (and the utilities that need the PUC to approve their spending plans) will have to include those very negative external costs in their calculations. As a result, fossil forms of electricity generation will be much more difficult to justify on economic terms.

View Full Story

Issues

RELEASE: Judge Recommends Use of the Social Cost of Carbon

St. Paul, MN (April 15, 2016) – A new report recommends using the federal “social cost of carbon” when estimating the health and economic impacts of carbon dioxide pollution in the State of Minnesota, with a couple of minor suggested amendments. The report was submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by an administrative law judge earlier today.

View Full Story

Transportation & Land Use

325,000 reserved the new Tesla – what does it mean for EVs?

tesla line

This is the latest is a series of events showing the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in Minnesota and nationally, including an all-electric room at the Twin Cities Auto Show and a steep discount on the Nissan Leaf in the month of March. With the Chevy Bolt (another 200 mile electric vehicle expected to cost around $35,000) set to release next year, a year ahead of the Model 3, a new issue is about to be raised in the world of electric vehicles: the downside of being first to market.

View Full Story