Blog

The importance of the bioeconomy as part of the clean energy economy

July 23, 2021

When people think about the clean energy economy, what comes to mind? Solar photovoltaic and wind energy are likely at the top of the list. Perhaps other renewable sources of energy like solar heating, ground-source heating and cooling, geothermal power, or hydroelectric. Or non-renewable low carbon technologies like fossil energy with carbon capture or nuclear power. While these are all important, biomass and the bioeconomy are also key contributors to a clean energy economy.

Saving Earth one building at a time

July 7, 2021

Bali Kumar, COO of PACE Loan Group, tells us about his history with management consulting, law and mission-driven work that led him to PACE financing and the work he does today. 

Marketing & Communications Intern

July 6, 2021

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) is seeking a Marketing & Communications Intern to assist with growing our organization’s communication work across multiple channels and our engagement with the clean energy business community statewide.

Solar panel recycling program options in Minnesota

June 30, 2021

In 2020, Minnesota generated 29% of its electricity from renewable sources, and 3.1% from solar. With all these solar panels, questions have arisen about how those projects will be treated at the end of their life. How do you create a good program to recycle solar panels?

Clean energy progress highlights end of Minnesota’s 2021 legislative session

June 25, 2021

In 2021, CEEM targeted opportunities to accelerate Minnesota’s economic recovery by removing red tape and creating market opportunities for energy efficiency and clean energy development.

Regulatory work taking serious steps toward clean energy transition

June 14, 2021

The energy and utilities industry continues to evolve by making investments in clean energy and related technologies. As customers demand new clean energy and electric utilities adopt it, new regulations and business models are also evolving. A predictable regulatory policy that values clean energy will unleash economic opportunity.

Q&A with Becky Wacker - Area General Manager with Trane

June 3, 2021

I decided I couldn’t be an electrical engineer because that’s what both my parents do. So I went with aerospace - I went way rogue. I loved my major and I really enjoyed what I did. When you break it down, aside from the really cool stuff like launching rockets into space and airplanes, aerospace engineering is really all about air flow and how air is actually a liquid. I have been in the HVAC and technologies industry for 13 years, my whole career. When I first came out of school, I started out as a sales engineer, working out of the building automation realm for a major manufacturer.

White Earth Nation & RREAL – a new twist on building a clean energy economy

May 27, 2021

The White Earth Nation has a vision of energy sovereignty. With an estimated 60% of the reservation’s power coming from a soon-to-be decommissioned coal plant nearby, the vision has its window of opportunity opening up. The White Earth Reservation is located in north-central Minnesota. Created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians, it is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota and the largest band in Minnesota today.

Clean energy progress during the 2021 legislative session

May 19, 2021

With Minnesota remaining the only divided legislature in the nation, this being a budget year, and still being in the middle of a global pandemic, we headed into the 2021 legislative session with cautious optimism. Given the split, viable policies needed to have bipartisan agreement and be big enough for the legislature to consider with their limited time among a number of other pressing issues.

Federal Stimulus: Minnesota is Poised for Economic Growth

May 11, 2021

During election season 2020, it was clear that clean energy is becoming a more common topic of conversation. Now that the Biden-Harris Administration is settling in, a focus on investments in clean energy and infrastructure is emerging, focusing on the economic benefits of a transition to low and zero-carbon electricity.

A Q&A with Colton Koch, an apprentice electrician with TruNorth Solar

May 5, 2021

Colton Koch is an installer/apprentice at TruNorth Solar. He graduated from the ETS (Energy Technical Specialist) program at Century College where he earned a NABCEP certification at the associate level. Every day, Colton works in the field gaining the experience needed to fulfill his goals of helping our planet. We talked with Colton about his interest in the field and what his job entails. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Solar*Rewards offers path to saving money for Minnesota schools

April 30, 2021

In 2019, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School decided to take advantage of several programs that gave them a path to installing solar on its school building, that didn’t require any upfront capital. The team at iDEAL Energies introduced them to Minnesota’s Solar*Rewards program, combined with the city of Minneapolis’ green cost share program which made solar a viable option for the school, with full ownership transferred to the school after 18 years. 

Top 7 Takeaways from the 2021 MN Energy Factsheet

April 21, 2021

The recently released 2021 Minnesota Energy Factsheet, shows that clean energy made huge strides in 2020, despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s exciting about this report is the visualization of how rapidly Minnesota’s clean energy sector is changing. It’s not very often we get to live through transformations, but there is one taking place in Minnesota, and it’s happening in real time.

2021 MN Energy Factsheet Rollout Webinar Recap

April 16, 2021

The 2021 Minnesota Energy Factsheet Rollout Webinar event on Thursday, April 15, 2021 was to amplify the new report, provide an overview of the data points and hear how the report impacts Minnesotans from a panel of clean energy business and industry experts.

How the Pandemic is Driving Commercial Building Energy Use

March 29, 2021

Months into the COVID-19 lockdown last year, positive headlines were few and far between. Among the limited uplifting topics to catch public attention, however, was sustainability. In December 2020, news outlets across the country wrote about data published in the journal “Earth System Science Data” that showed a 7 percent drop from fossil emission levels compared to 2019. That equates to an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes’ difference in CO2 emissions.

A Q&A with Juhl Clean Energy Assets, Inc.

March 23, 2021

Q: Tell us about yourself and what you do at Juhl?

A: Clay D. Norrbom, Managing Director, Juhl Clean Energy Assets, Inc. I joined Juhl about five years ago, but have known and worked with the Juhl team for about 10 years. I’m based in Wisconsin - I’m the small town farm person from Northern Wisconsin who worked on Wall Street for about 10 years and came back to renewable energy to clean my slate from my sins on Wall Street. I’m the third leg of the leadership/ownership team of the company. I run the part of our business that deals with projects we own ourselves. I work with our corporate partners to develop and maintain relationships as we tend to do a lot of repeat business with them.

Can what happened in Texas happen in Minnesota?

March 17, 2021

Most Minnesotans stayed warm and their lights stayed on in February while thousands of Texans endured days without electricity. As Texas temperatures dipped as low as -4 degrees on February 16, much of Minnesota was experiencing much colder temperatures. While outages in Minnesota were not widespread, in Moorhead, the Moorhead Public Service said blackouts were possible over multiple days.

2021 Virtual Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol Recap

March 11, 2021

The 2021 Virtual Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol was March 10, 2021 and was a day dedicated to sharing with legislators how Minnesota’s clean energy businesses are leading technology innovation and helping shape the future of Minnesota’s clean energy economy. The event was put on in partnership with the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE), Clean Grid Alliance, MnSEIA and the U.S. Green Building Council. The event was sponsored by All Energy Solar and Apex Clean Energy.

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.

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