Renewable energy: what’s next?

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Thanks to strong policies and good economics, wind and solar are booming in Minnesota. But if our state is going to achieve its science-based greenhouse gas reduction goals—and if Minnesota is going to actively contribute to making the dramatic carbon reductions we need right now—we need to aim higher.

Fresh Energy is committed to a bold plan of action: By 2030, 60 percent of Minnesota’s electricity must be from wind and solar and half our cars and all our buses should run on clean electricity. By 2045, we need 100 percent carbon-free electricity powering a completely carbon-neutral economy.

Big regulatory and policy decisions ahead

In the next twelve months, there will be multiple opportunities for Minnesota utilities and decision-makers to double down on cutting carbon and moving more of our economy to renewable electricity.

The state’s three investor owned utility companies—Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power—will be proposing their fifteen-year integrated resource plans to the Public Utilities Commission. These plans set future direction on meeting forecasted energy demand while also accounting for new technologies and addressing aging infrastructure. Fresh Energy’s team of experts is already working hard to build the data-driven case to support bigger investments in wind and solar and the closure of polluting coal plants.

Work at the state legislature will also be crucial, and Fresh Energy is shaping the policy details with a broad coalition of partners to advance progress that creates jobs and prosperity for all Minnesotans as it moves more of our economy to renewable electricity.

Creating the infrastructure for a clean energy future

To continue deploying wind and solar at the necessary scale, Minnesota needs an updated grid designed to meet the needs of a new, cleaner energy system. Fresh Energy is working at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), which oversees transmission across our region, to ensure forecasts include the full picture of renewable electricity in our future. We are also seeing key clean energy transmission lines in Iowa and Wisconsin through to completion—and we are actively rallying support for investment in new infrastructure to bring clean energy to our communities.

There will be many opportunities to voice your support for advancing the next leap forward on renewable electricity in Minnesota. Visit our Take Action page for the details on what you can do.

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