The Minnesota Energy Factsheet is a companion to the 2021 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, compiled by research firm BloombergNEF for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). The Factsheet outlines key trends influencing national and state investment and economics, energy supply, and energy demand. As the American energy sector continues its transformation to cleaner, cheaper sustainable energy, Minnesota remains a leader.
Last year, for the first time, renewable energy was Minnesota’s largest power generation source, providing nearly a third of Minnesota's electricity. More than half of Minnesota's power came from zero-carbon sources in 2020.
These statistics, along with other highlights described below, show how Minnesota is working to create a better clean energy economy. To learn about the clean energy jobs that are facilitating this work, visit our Clean Jobs page.
Reducing Minnesota Emissions
55 percent of Minnesota's power came from zero-carbon sources in 2020. Zero-carbon energy sources include all renewable and nuclear energy.
Power sector carbon emissions in Minnesota declined 40 percent in the last ten years due to the clean energy transition. In 2020, emissions from this sector declined 17 percent from 2019.
Climate and clean energy impact Minnesota’s communities. We share the stories of clean energy businesses, working across political divides to support the business voice of clean energy.
Clean Energy Powers Our State
For the first time, Minnesota’s renewables were the largest source of electricity generation in the state. Renewable sources provided 29 percent of Minnesota’s electricity including wind, solar, hydro, and biomass.
Renewables have accounted for 84 percent of all new electricity generation capacity added since 2010, totaling 3.6 gigawatts. Wind power is the cheapest source of new electricity in Minnesota, even on an unsubsidized basis.
In 2020, Minnesota power imports fell to their lowest level in over two decades. This is thanks in part to the addition of new wind and solar.
Energy Efficiency Leadership
Over the last decade Minnesota has boosted its energy productivity, or how efficiently we use energy, by 24 percent; power consumption has fallen 9 percent, while state GDP is up 13 percent.
CEEM works with industry and nonprofit partners to strengthen Minnesota’s energy efficiency standards through policy work at the Capitol. Read more about CEEM's work to shape Minnesota's clean energy policy.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked Minnesota 9th out of all 50 states for its overall energy efficiency programs (the highest ranking in the Midwest).
CEEM collects and tracks regulatory trends and works with our members to deliver key information on the public benefits of the clean energy industry before regulatory bodies.
“With the right policy levers in place, businesses can fully leverage the clean energy transition and ensure that jobs continue to grow and that the economic benefits are extended to everyone who lives here.”
Executive Director, Clean Energy Economy MN
Powering Minnesota’s Economy
Major Minnesota-based corporations have increased their efforts to procure renewable energy. 3M Co., Cargill Inc., Ecolab Inc., Target Corp., and General Mills between them have now signed agreements to power their operations with either wind or solar energy from projects representing over 1 gigawatt of capacity.
Electric vehicle sales in Minnesota are accelerating as battery prices continue to drop. From 2016 to 2020, new vehicle registrations of battery electric vehicles are up 6x to 3,800 units. Annual plug-in hybrid electric vehicle registrations rose nearly 3x to 2,000 units.
CEEM is working with a coalition to promote clean cars in MN. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is enacting the new rule, which will create more low-emission and zero emission vehicle choices for Minnesota consumers and help the state meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050
2021 Minnesota Energy Factsheet Highlights