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MN bill proposes doubling of state renewable power goal

A proposed Minnesota bill would double the amount of renewable electricity that public utilities are required to

generate or procure.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith introduced HF 1772, which would raise the current renewable portfolio standard

(RPS), enacted in 2007, from 25 percent by 2025 to 50 percent by 2030. The state is on track to surpass current

goals, currently at 21 percent renewable energy, according to Smith’s office. However, emissions in the state

have only been reduced by 7 percent.

The bipartisan bill is being authored in the Minnesota Senate by Sens. Nick Frentz and Karin Housley, and in the

Minnesota House by Reps. Erin Maye Quade and Joe Schomacker. It also builds on Minnesota’s Next Generation

Act, which requires utilities to provide technical assistance for all residential and commercial projects that

incorporate green building practices in their construction.

A fact sheet released with the bill introduction indicated that, between 2000 and 2014, clean energy jobs in

Minnesota grew 78 percent. In comparison, the state’s total employment growth was only 11 percent. The modified

RES would create an average of 1,500 new jobs in Minnesota, it said, and help reduce annually energy imports, as

the state currently spends about $13 billion importing fossil fuels including coal, oil and natural gas, from other

states and countries.

To date, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have adopted a mandatory RPS, while eight states have voluntary

renewable goals.

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