Six policy priorities build on state’s expanding advanced energy market
MINNEAPOLIS, September 6, 2018 — Today, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) released a policy roadmap for the Minnesota gubernatorial campaigns of Republican nominee Jeff Johnson and Democratic nominee Rep. Tim Walz outlining how clean energy can create jobs and drive economic growth in the state. The policy roadmap, “Minnesota’s Clean Energy Roadmap: How the Next Governor Can Make Minnesota’s Energy System more Secure, Clean, and Affordable While Driving Job Creation and Economic Growth,” outlines multiple policy priorities the next governor of Minnesota can pursue to take full advantage of the economic development potential provided by advanced energy technologies and services.
Clean energy has been making headlines in Minnesota the past few years for its explosive job growth. According to the just-released 2018 Clean Jobs Midwest Report, Minnesota is home to more than 59,000 clean energy jobs. The report examines job growth in five subsectors including renewable energy and energy efficiency and shows that clean energy jobs in Minnesota are growing at a rate of 2.6 percent, twice as fast as the state’s overall job growth rate. Clean energy jobs are also spread out across the state, with 40 percent of industry jobs located in Greater Minnesota.
“Minnesota’s clean energy industry is fueling economic growth and creating jobs in all corners of our state,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director for CEEM. “Minnesota is leading the clean energy transition in the Midwest and setting an example for states across the country. This policy roadmap is about ensuring Minnesota continues to prosper by seizing the substantial economic opportunities provided by clean energy.”
“Minnesota’s diverse energy resources provide the state with a significant advantage in providing secure, clean, and affordable energy for the future,” said JR Tolbert, Vice President of State Policy for AEE. “By pursuing the priorities outlined in the policy roadmap, the next governor can leverage Minnesota’s abundant clean energy resources to drive economic growth and create additional jobs throughout the state, all while keeping electricity rates affordable for Minnesotans.
In their policy platform, AEE and CEEM present six keys themes for the campaigns to consider:
- Increase the Renewable Energy Standard, a Successful, Proven Policy. Such policy mechanisms provide market certainty for utilities and investors looking to build an energy economy that emphasizes low-cost, advanced technologies and services in Minnesota.
- Modernize the electricity system to focus on consumer needs. Evolving consumer preferences, dynamic new technologies, and the need to replace aging infrastructure are all driving grid modernization. The next governor should guide regulatory system reforms to meet the needs of residents and businesses and modernize our electric power system.
- Improve Access to and Procurement of Renewable Energy. Among Fortune 100 companies, 71 have set renewable energy or sustainability targets. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies have similar commitments. Additional solutions should be provided to companies to create market certainty for companies who want to invest in Minnesota’s clean energy future.
- Improve and Expand Demand-Side Management Throughout the State. Minnesota is consistently recognized as one of the top states in the country for energy efficiency. Expanding Minnesota’s demand-side management goals and investments is key to creating additional savings and economic growth.
- Enhance Minnesota’s Attractiveness for Energy Storage Development. The global energy storage market is expected to “double six times” from now until 2030. Minnesota should provide a framework for integrating storage onto the grid and establish a marketplace that monetizes the benefits of energy storage for cost-effective investment.
- Electrify the transportation sector. Our transportation system is undergoing a seismic evolution. By positioning Minnesota to lead in transportation electrification, the next governor can create substantial benefits for citizens and businesses.
In the coming months, AEE and CEEM will host additional roundtables with the candidates to discuss Minnesota’s energy policy landscape and how clean energy can help grow the economy.
About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE and its State and Regional Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry, which now employs 3.4 million U.S. workers. Visit AEE online at www.aee.net and follow the latest industry news @AEEnet.
About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota
Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) is an industry-led nonprofit 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. Visit CEEM online at https://www.cleanenergyeconomymn.org/ and follow their updates at @cleanenergymn