Clean energy businesses share job creation stories with legislators
ST. PAUL, MINN. – In recognition of the positive economic impact clean energy businesses are making across the state, Governor Tim Walz delivered a proclamation that declares today, February 13, 2019 as Clean Energy Business Day in the state of Minnesota. The proclamation coincides with Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol – an advocacy day for clean energy business owners, workers and advocates. Governor Walz has been a vocal clean energy champion, touting the fast pace of job growth and the industry’s deep connections to strengthening local economies across the state.
“Minnesota is home to 59,079 clean energy jobs and is experiencing a job growth rate more than twice that of the overall economy,” reads Governor Walz’s proclamation. “The state is a globally-recognized hub for clean energy development and deployment, with 25 percent of all electricity in Minnesota coming from renewable sources in 2017. The clean energy industry is stimulating statewide economic development and creating family-sustaining jobs.”
“Minnesota’s clean energy success is creating new jobs and expanding business opportunities throughout our state,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley, whose agency administers the state’s energy policies and programs. “The Walz-Flanagan administration and the Commerce Department are committed to working together with our many partners to lead the way with strong clean energy policies that will continue to strengthen Minnesota’s economy, support community prosperity and create a cleaner environment for all Minnesotans.”
“The Minnesota Department of Administration is leading by example through ensuring the use of clean, renewable energy in our facilities. Our partnership with Xcel Energy has allowed us to power over 30% of the State Capitol Complex with locally produced renewable energy through the Renewable*Connect program,” said Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis. “We are proud to partner with Minnesota’s clean energy industry, which helps to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that adversely impact our health and well-being.”
“More than 59,000 Minnesotans are now working in clean energy jobs all across the state,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The work done by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota ensures that green energy businesses and their employees continue to play an important role in our state’s economy.”
“I am so proud of Minnesota’s leadership position in the clean energy field. Clean energy businesses are creating jobs and delivering solutions that enhance our economic competitiveness as a state,” said Clean Energy Economy MN Executive Director Gregg Mast. “Today’s Clean Energy Business Day is about sharing the incredible stories of clean energy businesses and workers with lawmakers. Thanks to thoughtful and forward-thinking policy in the past, Minnesota’s clean energy business ecosystem is thriving – it’s important to share this success story and promote the importance of continued policy leadership in order to build on this momentum.”
“Since 2009, wind energy prices have dropped 67% and utility-scale solar prices have fallen 86%, making clean renewable energy a smart investment for Minnesota utilities and their customers who are asking for more renewable energy,” said Clean Grid Alliance Executive Director Beth Soholt. “Responding to Minnesota’s forward-thinking renewable energy policies, the renewables sector has invested in Minnesota wind and solar projects, delivering benefits and driving economic development across many parts of the state.”
“USGBC and our members are excited to talk with legislators about the importance to Minnesota’s economy of energy efficiency and the clean energy sector. We want to be a resource to inform policy makers about the benefits of the industry and to keep this important topic on the forefront,” said U.S. Green Building Council Regional Director Sheri Brezinka.
"The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) serves its business members as the voice of the Minnesota solar industry and is excited to partner with other clean energy business groups to showcase the excellent work of our members,” said Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) Program Director & Counsel Liz Lucente. “In late 2018 Minnesota exceeded one gigawatt of solar installations statewide and we remain a national leader in community solar: this is no small feat and is owing to Minnesota policies promoting and encouraging solar development, alongside our industry's effort to create and maintain family-supporting jobs which enhance the State economy."
Clean energy starts with energy efficiency, a field in which we've specialized for nearly 40 years. By proclaiming today 'Clean Energy Business Day,' Governor Walz embraces a vision that lives at our core — when it comes to clean energy, what's good for our natural environment is also good for Minnesota's economy. A silent hero in our clean energy transition, efficiency alone amounts to about 50,000 jobs and 500 electrical contractor businesses statewide,” said Mike Bull, Director of Policy and External Affairs at Center for Energy and Environment.
To learn more about the different types of clean energy jobs in Minnesota, watch and read the Names Behind the Numbers | Minnesota profile series.
View the proclamation here.
About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Minnesota’s clean energy business ecosystem. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies. Learn more at cleanenergyeconomymn.org.
About Clean Grid Alliance (CGA): Clean Grid Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind and solar developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind and solar industries. Learn more at cleangridalliance.org.
About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): USGBC is committed to a prosperous, healthy and sustainable future through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, nationwide network of local members, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that support cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings and communities. USGBC serves a diverse marketplace and its LEED green building program is the foremost program for green building in the world – saving money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reducing carbon emissions, and contributing to a healthier environment. Learn more at new.usgbc.org.
About Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA): MnSEIA is a 501(c)(6) trade association that serves to move Minnesota solar forward as the voice of the Minnesota solar industry. Representing over one hundred-member companies, MnSEIA pursues its mission to grow solar energy industries as part of Minnesota’s clean energy transition by delivering strong public policy, education, job creation and sustainable industry development. This is done through active engagements at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Legislature, and in various agency matters. Find out more at www.mnseia.org.
About Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE): Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment. Learn more at mncee.org