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Pioneer Press: Minnesota clean-energy group wants half renewable sources by 2030

March 5th, 2013

By Doug Belden, Pioneer Press
 
March 5, 2013
 
 
A coalition of clean energy, labor, business, religious and other groups is calling for half the power produced in the state to come from renewable sources by 2030 — 40 percent from sources such as wind energy plus another 10 percent from solar. In 2007, Minnesota set a standard of roughly 25 percent from renewable sources by 2025, and “now we must build on that foundation and take a next big step forward,” said Michael Noble, executive director of St. Paul-based Fresh Energy.
 
Noble and others announced the launch of the “Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs” campaign Tuesday, March 5, at a news conference near the state Capitol. The group — made up of more than 30 organizations — says the wind industry has already created 3,000 jobs in the state, and that the new solar standards would create more than 2,000 more.
 
In addition to the renewable energy standards, the group is calling for incentives for power companies to promote and increase energy efficiency and for cutting government red tape to facilitate more local power generation.
 
The package of proposals is being carried in the Legislature by Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sens. Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center and Kevin Dahle of Northfield along with DFL House members Will Morgan of Burnsville and Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis.
 
A separate bill introduced last week at the Capitol also aims to increase the use of solar and other clean energy in Minnesota and would set solar electricity generation standards for utilities.
 
A call to Xcel Energy for comment on the proposals was not immediately returned Tuesday.
 
Doug Belden can be reached at 651-228-5136. Follow him at twitter.com/dbeldenpipress and facebook.com/PioneerPressPolitics.
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