According to a new study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), strengthening renewable energy standards (RES) in Minnesota is all set to create more diverse, clearer and self-reliant system of electricity in the state driving millions of dollars in new private capital investment. The robust and cost effective renewable energy resources of the state will help Minnesota achieve this without incurring any additional cost.
Minnesota has been supporting the use of renewable energy for more than 20 years now and this has helped it to emerge as a national leader in the drive of developing renewable energy. According to reports, people living in the region get more than 15% of their electricity from renewable sources. In fact the state’s utility is now focusing to meet the 25% benchmark that it set for itself to be achieved by 2025 RES. However, despite the progress Minnesota registered in terms of capitalizing on renewable sources of energy, the state still relies on coal for 50% of its electricity consumption, while it’s potential to tap vast resources of wind and solar energy goes unutilized.
Based on the present statistics of energy consumption in terms of coal and renewable sources respectively, UCS resolved to explore the future prospects of Minnesota’s energy. The study revealed that the state has potential to strengthen RES by 40% by 2030. UCS used the model of Regional Energy Deployment System developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to examine how the present 24% by 2025 RES or better known as the Reference case impact the economy, consumers and the environment.
According to the findings of the survey the development of additional renewable energy on an annual basis will provide for more than $150 million to sustain and operate new facilities of renewable energy. Additionally, it would also contribute $14 million in terms of local tax payments towards essential state services like schools, fire departments and police.