Fresh Energy Statement: It’s Time for 100% Carbon-Free Electricity

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It’s time for Minnesota to re-establish itself as a climate leader in the Midwest and deliver a market signal to the clean energy industry that our state is open for business.

In 2007, Minnesota set the pace for the Midwest with bipartisan support of the Next Generation Energy Act, which established statewide goals to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy. In 2019, Governor Tim Walz built on this legacy with his Administration’s One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy. Among the first major policy initiatives of the Walz Administration, the package was built around a historic proposal to achieve 100% clean electricity statewide in Minnesota by 2050.

In spite of these clear goals, Minnesota has struggled to stay on track and has fallen short of its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A new report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency details that Minnesota is missing its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions even more than officials originally thought. It is now clear that Minnesota must renew its commitment and rededicate itself to more meaningful carbon reductions. The clear path forward is establishing a statewide commitment to achieving 100% of our electricity from carbon-free sources.  

“We applaud Governor Walz, House Climate and Energy Chair Rep. Jamie Long, and Senator Nick Frentz for bringing this conversation to the forefront,” said Michael Noble, executive director of Fresh Energy.  “It’s time for Minnesota to re-establish itself as a climate leader in the Midwest and deliver a market signal to the clean energy industry that our state is open for business.” 

A dedication to 100% carbon-free electricity would make Minnesota the eighth state – plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia – to make such a commitment.  

“We are deeply committed to ensuring that Minnesota’s path toward 100% carbon-free electricity is inclusive, ambitious, and equitable,” said Ben Passer, lead director, Energy Access and Equity. “We must ensure that all Minnesotans benefit from the clean energy transition and the opportunities it presents in affordability, improving public health, and growing family-supporting jobs in the clean energy sector.” 

Fresh Energy is committed to accelerating Minnesota’s clean energy transformation. Wind, solar, and on-grid storage are now consistently the least-cost resource and more economic than both new gas and existing coal generation. The economic case is clear and it is time for Minnesota to take bold action to commit to carbon-free electricity.