Blog

Repost: Opportunities to Increase Small Business Engagement on Energy

December 19, 2018

Small and medium businesses represent 90% of US businesses and consume about 20% of US energy, but they attract less than 4% of utility energy efficiency spending. That’s why CEEM joined the Twin Cities Small Business Energy Initiative to support a local solution, led by the Great Plains Institute and the Lake Street Council, based off of work happening nationwide called the Small Business Energy Initiative.

Legislative Update: The Good and The Not So Good

April 20, 2018

Omnibus Week!

This week, the Minnesota House and Senate released their major funding and policy bills. These large bills, called “omnibus” bills, merge a number of smaller bills into one. 

With such large proposals, it’s often a balancing act between the good and the not so good provisions.

 

Tensions increase at the Minnesota Legislature

April 16, 2018

Last week, the legislature came back from a week-long spring recess. Upon returning to the Capitol lawmakers have just six weeks to finish all major bills before they are constitutionally mandated to adjourn in May.

CEEM outlines the top three most important things we're working on at the legilsature this week. 

 

Build Minnesota’s Talent Pipeline (And get an intern at a discount!)

April 16, 2018

Minnesota’s workforce shortage is a frequent topic of discussion. It’s a troubling issue that has the potential to squeeze quickly growing industries like clean energy.

The countdown begins: Six weeks to go of the 2018 Legislative Session

April 4, 2018

The legislature is on recess this week for their annual Easter/Passover break. This spring recess gives legislators the chance to head back to their districts to catch up with constituents before returning to the Capitol for the final few weeks of session which is constitutionally mandated to adjourn sine die by May 21.

 

Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol

March 27, 2018

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota has successfully wrapped up our second annual Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol. This year we partnered with Wind on the Wires (WoW), Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

2018 Legislative Session Update

March 8, 2018

The 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session is in full swing at the Capitol. Two weeks into a short, 10-week session and the priority issue areas are starting to take shape.

Both the House and Senate energy committees have started meeting regularly, holding hearings on some of this year’s top issue areas. The first deadline we are focused on is March 22, in which bills introduced in either the House or Senate must receive a hearing in their house of origin in order to continue through the legislative process.

Get the Facts: Clean Energy Delivers for Minnesota

March 7, 2018

March began with some exciting energy news for Minnesota. Among the headlines: renewables are now Minnesota's second largest source of electricity. And, according to data just released from the Department of Energy, a full 25 percent of Minnesota’s energy generation comes from renewable sources.

CEEM highlights clean energy jobs and innovation in Washington D.C

February 20, 2018

Amid a backdrop of simultaneously good and bad news for the clean energy industry in Minnesota (48 percent job growth in the state’s solar industry and 72 percent federal budget cut proposed for the Department of Energy) Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) took the opportunity to meet with congressional offices in Washington D.C. in February to discuss the state’s explosive growth in clean energy jobs and innovation.

The Future of Energy Efficiency

February 16, 2018

Lily Osborne shares her experiences at the 2018 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. It is an exciting time witnessing the transformation of our energy sector, and this year’s Midwest Energy Solutions Conference affirmed to me that the talented people and companies working in this industry will continue to advance compelling and cost-saving changes.

CEEM predictions for the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

February 7, 2018

The looming November election sets the backdrop for the 2018 legislative session which begins on February 20 in Saint Paul. In Minnesota, our government operates on a two-year cycle, or a “biennium.” As the second year in the biennium, unlike the first year, the legislature is not required to pass a new, full budget. Traditionally, the second year in a biennium is reserved for just one major policy initiative: capital investment.

Grid Modernization: Let’s do Something!

January 29, 2018

Clean Energy Economy MN recently teamed up with OATI, as well as The Energy Transition Lab (ETL), and Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MnCEF) to provide a learning opportunity for Minnesota legislators to tour OATI’s microgrid facilities. The event also convened leaders to talk about the critical and real efforts to modernize the grid in Minnesota. Grid modernization is a broad umbrella term that can encompass a range of advanced technologies and infrastructure developments.

75F: a Hot MN Startup, Sparked by Cold MN Winters

January 10, 2018

That cold Minnesota air actually set in motion the birth of the concept for 75F. When founder and CEO Deepinder Singh moved into a home; his daughter would wake up at night with her room 10 degrees cooler than the parents' room, where the thermostat was located. As a self-respecting engineer, Deepinder started a company to fix the problem. 75F Dynamic Airflow Balancing solution was the company's resulting flagship offering.

R-PACE Task Force Concludes -- Report Due Soon

January 8, 2018

Last session, the Minnesota Legislature temporarily discontinued Minnesota’s Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) program in order to proactively address consumer protection concerns that arose out of incidents that happened in other states, including predatory lending practices that led to foreclosures on vulnerable homeowners.

As part of this legislative solution, policymakers established the R-PACE Consumer Protection Task Force which is charged with developing legislative recommendations to address consumer protection problems and reinstate the R-PACE program in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s top 10 gains on clean energy in 2017

January 4, 2018

2017 was a big year in Minnesota's energy tranisition - read all about the top 10 gains.

What you need to know about clean energy provisions in the Federal Tax Bill

December 28, 2017

This fall, pretty much everybody had an opinion about the federal tax bill getting put together in Washington D.C. Whether you hated it, loved it -- or fell somewhere in between, the first major tax overhaul bill in years drew plenty of attention during the closing months of 2017.

As a conduit between clean energy businesses in Minnesota and both the state and federal government, Clean Energy Economy MN was watching the construction of the Federal Tax Bill closely. Here is what caught our attention in the first round of bills passed by the House and Senate.

The story of CIP: How a lightbulb can make a big difference on a company’s bottom line

November 30, 2017

Did you know that by 2030, Americans are expected to have saved around $2 trillion in energy efficiency measures alone? Yes, that’s trillion – with a T. And in Minnesota – of the more than 57,000 clean energy jobs located across our state – a staggering  86 percent of those are in the energy efficiency sector. Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest energy resource we have in Minnesota: it costs significantly less to save a unit of energy than to buy one.

Energy Storage -- the Swiss Army Knife of Energy

November 14, 2017

A popular topic in the energy sector this year is storage, and the Minnesota state legislature is focused on it too. Among the topics prioritized by the Legislative Energy Commission (LEC) this fall—which have included the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), wind siting, and biomass—energy storage was the focus of the committee’s most recent meeting on November 9.

From Cheerios waste to clean energy – spending Bioenergy Day with Koda Energy

October 18, 2017

When you’re stumbling out of bed, and groggily pouring yourself a bowl of Cheerios – we’re guessing the furthest thing from your mind is how that cereal was made – and even further from your thoughts – what happens to the wasted oat hulls after your cereal is processed?

Introducing Amelia Cerling Hennes - Manager, Marketing and Communications

October 16, 2017

I am Amelia Cerling Hennes and my first few weeks with CEEM have already been so exciting! I am thrilled to be joining Clean Energy Economy MN as their first Marketing and Communications Manager.

Minnesota’s Growing Clean Energy Jobs

September 19, 2017

We kicked off September with an exciting announcement that Minnesota’s clean energy sector grew 5.3 percent and now totals more than 57,000 jobs. This growth was nearly four times faster than jobs in all other areas of Minnesota’s economy.

To deliver the news, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), Sen. Nick Frentz (D-North Mankato), Ken Smith CEO of Ever-Green Energy, Ben Granley President of Werner Electric, and Aaron Pyfferoen, Manager of Solar Procurement for Blattner Energy joined our Executive Director Gregg Mast for an in-person press conference and media call with Greater Minnesota news outlets at the State Capitol on September 7th.

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