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Top 3 reasons why you should pay attention to Minnesota’s IRP process

February 24, 2021

The electrical grid that serves most Minnesotans’ homes and businesses has been evolving since the early 1900’s. Our rapidly changing clean energy transition changed a whole lot more than just how we power our homes and businesses. But all that change required plans. It’s going to take a transformation in how we plan for the clean energy future.

Top 6 takeaways from the 2021 BCSE Sustainable Energy in America Factbook

February 18, 2021

Each year, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) along with BloombergNEF releases a factbook containing the impacts and statistics about renewable energy’s performance in America over the past year. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic had huge effects on the industry including decreasing energy demand overall and the furlough of hundreds of thousands of clean energy workers. Though some numbers from this year’s factbook might look different next year as the country rebounds from the pandemic, it also might have shifted how the country looks at clean energy and its role in the American mix.  

Community reinvigorated through sustainability and energy efficiency

February 4, 2021

There are many ways one can “live the good life,” but for many, it starts with a comfortable home. Leadership of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians were looking not only for comfort when commissioning the Mino-bimaadiziwin apartment complex, but also for housing that encompasses the tribe’s heritage of sustainability and togetherness. In partnership with Loeffler Construction and Consulting, Landon Group, and Cunningham Group, CEE joined this project to bring comfort and sustainability through energy efficiency and to ensure that this building marks the beginning of a long-lasting and sustainable home for members of the Tribe.

How farmers are leading on finding climate solutions

January 28, 2021

Minnesota’s family farmers are already experiencing the climate crisis. There is more extreme weather, unpredictable growing seasons, and increased pressure of plant and animal diseases. Farmers understand the risks of climate change and are coming up with new ways to remain resilient, such as putting carbon back in the soil. 

Policy priorities for the 2021 Minnesota legislative session

January 20, 2021

Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) develops and supports public policy that promotes the growth of clean energy jobs and the economic opportunities provided by clean, affordable and reliable energy. Working with state lawmakers between the aisle (not across it), and alongside government policy and regulatory agencies, CEEM provides the business voice of clean energy to help shape policy decisions and grow clean energy market opportunities.

Introducing Virginia Mooty Rutter - Manager, Community Relations

January 14, 2021

Hello! I’m Virginia, the new Manager of Community Relations. I am excited to begin 2021 working with Clean Energy Economy Minnesota to strengthen our relationships with our members and the broader community. I’m hoping that we will be able to bring back in-person events this year, too!

Connecting the dots… why transmission is part of building Minnesota’s clean energy future

January 7, 2021

Transmission policy is a complicated business, and 2021 will involve a number of important policy debates. Transmission policy revolves around markets that ensure power reaches our homes and businesses, often crossing wide regions and crossing state lines. We refer to the regional power delivery system as the transmission or bulk electric grid. Coordinating energy supply and demand across wide regions involves complex policies for building out new transmission, ensuring reliable operation of the system, and regulating market activities on that system.

Top 10 most inspiring clean energy stories of 2020

December 21, 2020

As many of us happily look forward to turning a page on 2020, we think it’s worth remembering that despite the many reasons to be gloomy, an awful lot of good was also accomplished this year. Despite the challenges facing the clean energy sector (including a loss of 14 percent of its workforce since March) there was still a lot to be hopeful about this year -- including the fact that it was listed as one of voters’ top issues in the election. Here are some of the most inspirational stories of 2020 that we can all use to propel us into a better 2021. 

Bipartisan agreement on shared energy priorities in the Minnesota legislature

December 10, 2020

The following webinar recap is based on “The 2020 election & what clean energy businesses need to know” event held by Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) on December 10, 2020 at 1 PM CST. The slides are available for review but there are no recordings of the event. 45 attendees joined the webinar to hear from Benjamin Stafford, CEEM’s Director of Government Affairs, Representative Patty Acomb (DFL - Minnetonka) and Senator David Senjem (R - Rochester). 

Top 10 most frequently asked questions about clean energy in Minnesota

December 2, 2020

Clean energy can be a confusing topic. What is clean energy? How does it work in cold climates? Is it going to raise my bills? These are all questions people working in the industry get every day, and they’re good questions! In this blog, we will take you through the top ten most frequently asked questions about clean energy and give you the facts behind each. 

Innovation snapshots

November 12, 2020

Each month, we ask our member-businesses to submit new projects that they are working on or have completed to be featured in our newsletter. There are a huge variety of amazing clean energy projects in Minnesota and here we archive these great stories. If you are a CEEM member and would like to submit a story, please email tconnelly@cleanenergyeconomymn.org.

2020 elections - what does it mean for clean energy?

November 9, 2020

The 2020 election season is over. No matter which side of the aisle you lean, it’s most likely safe to say we’re all glad it’s over. The results of this year’s election at both the state and federal level will impact the potential for clean energy policy progress in 2021. We continue to be engaged. For example, our CEEM members met with candidates for State Senate to provide education on our industry and policy opportunities. We continue to look for opportunities to inform policymakers about how and why clean energy policy matters.

How Improving Minnesota’s Buildings Lowers Costs and Emissions, Boosts the Clean Energy Industries

October 23, 2020

According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of the energy use and emissions in the United States. As policymakers and businesses aim to improve sustainability and quality of life (for example, hundreds of cities are signed up for the Minnesota Green Steps Program) it is clear that to achieve important goals, the United States needs to drastically reduce its reliance on fossil fuels in homes and commercial buildings. Increasing the focus on energy use in buildings leads to a new focus - on electrifying buildings. Building electrification can help lower emissions, costs, and unleash innovation economy-wide.  

How to Contact your Minnesota Legislator in Support of Clean Energy

October 6, 2020

Elected officials work hard to represent the interests of their constituents at the capitol and local, state and national levels. These offices want to hear input from the communities they represent. Personal testimonies, pictures, and stories are important tools for elected officials to use in debates over clean energy issues. It is you, the neighbors and constituents that these elected officials rely upon.

Expanding Minnesota’s Community Solar Garden Program is a Win, Win, Win for Greater Minnesota

September 15, 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, communities in Greater Minnesota were facing uncertain futures. Now, nearly six months into a peacetime emergency that was first declared by Governor Tim Walz on March 13, 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 have only exacerbated the economic development challenges Greater Minnesota has faced for years. Farm incomes are at historic lows, local government revenues are down, and thousands of jobs have been lost. 

Which Sectors of Clean Energy are Growing in Minnesota?

August 27, 2020

Minnesota’s clean energy sector has consistently added jobs at a faster rate than overall statewide job growth. In 2019, clean energy jobs grew 2.5 times faster than all other sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Before the pandemic hit, clean energy employers projected 7 percent growth in 2020 -- or adding more than 4,500 new jobs. Over 10,000 clean energy workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, but with Minnesota’s history of solid growth, we expect to see them and more come back as the economic recovery begins. 

What kinds of jobs are available in clean energy in Minnesota?

August 11, 2020

Considering a career in clean energy? You’re not alone. In 2019 Clean Jobs Midwest reported that there were more than 61,800 people working in clean energy jobs across the state—1 in 3 of them in Greater Minnesota—an increase of over 1,000 jobs just that year.

What do people working in Advanced Grid and Energy Storage in Minnesota do?

August 4, 2020

According to the Clean Jobs Midwest 2020 Report, Advanced Grid and Energy Storage jobs grew 5 percent in 2019. Overall, 2,899 Minnesotans were employed in this sector last year, making up 4.7 percent of the clean energy jobs in the state. Many Minnesotans are unaware of what exactly Advanced Grid is and what people who work in this field do. We talked to two of our member-businesses, Nokomis Energy and Werner Electric to learn more about what Advanced Grid and Energy Storage entail and what employees working in this sector do. 

Minnesota Policies to Support Clean Energy in 2020 and Beyond

July 10, 2020

The adoption of clean energy in Minnesota boosts the economy, creates jobs, and helps create a more sustainable future for the state. To assist with the clean energy transition, lawmakers have enacted legislation to assist this emerging industry. As these industries mature, there are several policies currently in play at the Capitol that would be beneficial to businesses as clean energy markets adapt to lower electricity prices and new issues arise.  Today, we are breaking down a brief history of Minnesota’s policy leadership, the current state of clean energy legislation, and how new proposals will help transition Minnesota to a decarbonized, clean energy economy. 

Top 5 Takeaways from the 2020 Clean Jobs Midwest Report

June 26, 2020

With new reports every day about COVID-19 job losses and their impact on the world and the clean energy industry, it can be hard to keep track! We are breaking down the top things to keep in mind about clean energy jobs in Minnesota from 2019 data. We are also sharing how those numbers have changed since the start of the pandemic, and how the past strength of the industry can be a key to Minnesota’s economic recovery. 

Utilities forge ahead with clean energy plans as progress stalls at state legislature

June 22, 2020

The legislature ended its Special Session the morning of Saturday, June 20 with little progress on major bills. The Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act failed to pass despite strong bipartisan support in both chambers, and from leadership in the Energy and Utilities Committee in the Senate. There was no deal made on a bonding bill. If passed, a bonding bill could create $350 million in energy projects at Minnesota’s public colleges and universities alone. 

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