Heat pumps have been having a “moment” lately—and rightfully so. Avoiding the worst impacts of climate change means transitioning our entire economy, starting here in Minnesota, to be carbon-neutral by 2050. That requires a dramatic change in the energy that powers our homes, businesses, and workplaces, shifting away from burning fossil fuels towards using zero- and low-carbon alternatives. Heat pumps can help us make that transition.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes when we flip the light switch, turn on the tv, or plug in an electric vehicle for at-home charging. Whatever its source, energy must be harnessed or collected, then transported, before it can be used to power our homes and businesses.
Utility planners must look deep into the future as they plan, finance, and build 50-year assets. And yet, the future is uncertain. Though demand for clean energy is increasing daily, transmission capacity, which is key to integrating renewable energy into the grid, is already at it’s limit. And further, there is no plan for adding new capacity in our region.
Farmers and ranchers formed America’s electric cooperatives more than 75 years ago, as a strategy to secure electricity and bring stability to rural communities. MiEnergy, a co-op based in the Southeastern corner of Minnesota, and serving Northeastern Iowa as well, has been carrying power to its 18,700 member-owners since 1936.
We envision a bright—and electric—future for all Minnesotans with beneficial electrification driving the change. What exactly does it mean to “electrify everything”?
We applaud the state’s largest utility on making their commitment to a carbon-free economy clear and measurable.