I’ve written in the past about the fact that 100% of the world could be power from clean, renewable energy. But to get to that 100% target, you need a lot of small 100% targets (i.e. 100% renewable energy for Scotland, 100% renewable energy for Tokelau, etc.). Now, a report just out yesterday from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research finds that Minnesota could easily go 100% renewable. Not only that, though — it could use 100% local clean power from solar and wind energy! That’s exciting.
Here’s a pretty jaw-droppingly awesome quote from the report:
The notion that solar and wind energy cannot be the mainstay of an electricity generation system because they are intermittent is incorrect…it is technically and economically feasible to meet the entire 2007 electricity demand of Xcel Energy [in Minnesota] using only renewable energy generation combined with storage technology and energy efficiency improvements…a 100 percent renewable energy-based electricity system for Minnesota increases rates by a mere 1-2 cents per kilowatt hour when sufficient reasonable and economical investments are made in energy efficiency.
Yes, we’re still talking about Minnesota!
John Farrell, writing over on sister site CleanTechnica, adds:
“The renewable energy mix would include approximately 13,000 megawatts of wind power and 4,600 megawatts of distributed solar PV. The expenditures for the new renewable energy, storage (via underground compressed air), and energy efficiency would pump more than $90 billion into the state’s economy and create 50,000 jobs.”
Now, there could be a very slight rise in electricity costs from this fast transition, but in actuality, getting your electricity from solar and wind energy in your local community is going to create numerous jobs that will pump money back into the economy and help you out in ways not calculated. Additionally, clean energy will cut health costs (and human suffering) tremendously. I would bet that when you add all that in, going 100% clean in Minnesota would save residents of the state money. (Additionally, the projected costs of wind and solar are actually on the safe side and will likely be even lower.)
For more details on the new report, check out the full IEER report or the CleanTechnica post mentioned above: Minnesota Electricity Could Be 100% Renewable, 100% Local.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.