Sen. Nick Frentz introduces 100 percent clean energy bill

Senator Frentz (DFL-Mankato) released the following statement: “Minnesota has made tremendous progress to support clean energy. My clean energy legislation provides the framework for Minnesota to move toward 100 percent clean energy by 2050. We can achieve this goal by embracing and expanding our renewable energy options like wind and solar to repower our communities with clean, renewable energy sources that will not only save consumers money but will open up new jobs to grow our economy. Clean energy jobs are growing four times faster than all other sectors of the economy and this legislation will allow us to capitalize on that growth for our workers and economy.”

Background information on the legislation

Why update the Renewable Energy Standard?

In 2007, Governor Pawlenty and 97% of the legislature enacted a target of 25% renewable energy by 2025 – it sounded ambitious, and it was. But thanks to advances in clean energy technology, Minnesota met its goal last year, seven years ahead of schedule!

Failing to Meet Our Climate Goals.

Minnesota is failing to meet its greenhouse gas targets

  • Our goal was 15% reduction below 2005 by 2015, and we only reduced 12%
  • We are not on track to meet our future goals either
    • Minnesota doesn’t have fossil fuels, so we’re sending $13 billion out of state each year to buy energy
    • We should be using our abundant wind and sun to make energy right here in Minnesota

Renewables Means Jobs

    • Clean energy jobs in Minnesota are growing four times faster than all other sectors of the economy
    • Minnesota is home to the number one solar construction company and two of the top wind builders in the country
    • But we could be moving faster:
      • Iowa is beating us in wind energy production, even though Minnesota has more wind potential
      • Last year, Minnesota didn’t even make the top 20 states for solar jobs

100% is Achievable

    • Three other states have already committed to moving to 100% clean power
    • Our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, became the first in the country to commit itself to 100% clean electricity

Costs are Affordable

    • Wind is currently the cheapest form of electricity, and solar is rapidly declining in price
    • A McKnight Foundation study found that we could achieve over 90% renewable energy using current technology, while saving money for consumers and creating 50,000 new clean energy jobs

Inaction will Harm Our People and Environment

    • Air pollution causes 2,000 early deaths in the Twin Cities each year
    • Last year, 10 natural disasters in Minnesota impacted 49 counties and cost $40M
    • If we take no action, we are on track to lose our boreal forest in the state by 2070

Xcel Targets Summary

  • Xcel Targets in Bill
    • 2026 – 55% renewable
      • Note – this is what Xcel has publicly committed to for Colorado
    • 2030 – 60% renewable
    • 2035 – 85% renewable
    • 2045 – 100% carbon-free
  • Xcel Current Planning Targets
    • 2030 – 60% renewable and 85% carbon-free
    • 2050 – 100% carbon-free

Other Utility Targets Summary

  • Other Utility Targets in Bill
    • 2030 – 55% renewable
    • 2035 – 80% renewable
    • 2050 – 100% carbon-free
Senator Nick Frentz
Nick Frentz represents Senate District 19, which includes portions of Blue Earth, Le Sueur, and Nicollet counties in the south central part of the state.

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