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Local View: Look beyond wind, solar to get to 100% carbon-free

Since 2007, Minnesota has accelerated its pathway to achieving cheaper and cleaner electricity by diversifying the grid to include more gas, solar, and wind. In fact, developers have taken advantage of several federal tax incentives to help deploy wind across Minnesota.

Today, Minnesota has competitive energy rates and a diversified electricity portfolio. According to the Energy Information Administration, 29% of the electricity generated in Minnesota is from renewables. That percentage continues to increase year over year.

At the same time, there are leaders in St. Paul interested in moving Minnesota to a 100% carbon-free marketplace. The Legislature has considered similar proposals in the past to move in that direction that ultimately did not pass.

Current legislation would require that all of Minnesota’s energy be produced from wind, solar, and battery storage. The simple fact is that we know the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow. Furthermore, global conflict has made it almost impossible to source the raw material needed for storage. There is also continued opposition to domestic mining.

In February 2021, wind production dropped to historic lows, which put the grid at risk. Thankfully, baseload power like coal, gas, and nuclear carried the weight to ensure the lights stayed on and people were safe.

Read the rest at Duluth News Tribune.


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