New data shows Minnesota’s clean energy transition is locked in
Zero-carbon power remained the majority of Minnesota’s electricity despite market turbulence
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — Minnesota has once again proven itself a leader in the clean energy transition, with a new report showing that zero-carbon power generated a staggering 55% of the state’s electricity in 2022. This marks the third consecutive year that zero-carbon power has remained the majority of Minnesota’s electricity, surpassing the national share by an impressive 14%.
The report, released today by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), also reveals that renewable technologies provided nearly one-third of Minnesota’s generation in 2022 – a significant increase from the 10.6TWh generated a decade ago. In fact, renewable generation has risen by an astounding 75% over the last ten years, with a total of 18.6TWh generated last year.
The 2023 Minnesota Energy Factsheet tracks several critical indicators that reflect the state’s progress towards achieving a clean energy future. For instance, Minnesota continues to outpace the nation in emission reductions. Greenhouse gas emissions in the state are now nearly 50% below 2005 levels with the state’s power sector emissions declining by nearly 35% in the past decade, including a seven percent decline in 2022. Additionally, the state’s energy productivity, which measures the efficiency of energy usage, increased last year. Despite major challenges such as supply chain disruptions, tariffs, and workforce issues, the clean energy industry continued to expand, reducing the need for imported energy to only nine percent.
“This year’s Factsheet demonstrates how Minnesota has locked in the transition to a clean energy economy. Not only have we made significant strides in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, we’ve achieved 55% carbon-free power,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy MN. “With our goal of reaching 100,000 clean energy jobs this decade on our way to 100% clean energy by 2040, I am confident that we will continue to grow the industry and lead the way towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all Minnesotans.”
“Despite the many challenges of the past year, Minnesota’s economy is now locked in on clean, sustainable growth that will reduce emissions and create good-paying jobs,” said Lisa Jacobson, President of the BCSE. “Minnesota is a national leader on clean energy and energy efficiency deployment, driven by ambitious investments from both the public and private sectors. The course is set for the state’s profound clean energy transition.”
“Minnesota is a clean energy leader, and our clean energy economy is growing, creating jobs, and revitalizing communities. With the state’s recent commitment to 100% clean energy by 2040, we are poised to lead the nation in demonstrating the benefits of an equitable clean energy future for all,” said Sarah Christiansen, Director of the McKnight Foundation’s Midwest Climate and Energy program. “This report shows that wind, solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles are woven into the fabric of our state and are already delivering benefits to Minnesota communities.”
“The Minnesota Energy Factsheet paints a clear picture of the vital role that energy efficiency and clean energy businesses play in the state’s economy. With the recent influx of federal funding, businesses have an enormous opportunity to help Minnesota achieve its goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040,” said Michelle Gransee, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “The Department is fully committed to continuing our collaborative efforts across the state to sustain the progress we’ve made so far, reduce emissions, and grow our clean energy economy.”
“National Grid Renewables continues to invest in the state of MN with ~2,000 MWs in utility scale wind and solar developments here. We are proud to say that our projects are bringing economic growth to greater MN communities,” said Tena Monson, Sr. Director Of Development Operations at National Grid Renewables. “We are also committed to working towards an interconnection solution to ensure that utility scale renewable projects are part of the solution to reach carbon free electricity by 2040.”
The Factsheet is a companion to the 2023 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which outlines key trends influencing national and state investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand. Both resources are commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), with research by BloombergNEF. The Minnesota Energy Factsheet is made possible with the support of the McKnight Foundation.
Highlights from this year’s Minnesota Energy Factsheet include:
- Zero-carbon power generated 55% of Minnesota’s power last year – remaining the MAJORITY OF MINNESOTA’S ELECTRICITY and 14% HIGHER than the national share of 41%!
- RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES provided nearly ONE-THIRD of Minnesota’s generation in 2022. Over the last decade, renewable generation has risen 75% from 10.6TWh to 18.6TWh in 2022.
- Minnesota continues to OUTPACE THE NATION in power sector emission reductions – now nearly 50% below 2005 levels vs. the 40% reduction nationwide.
- Power sector emissions in Minnesota DECLINED 7% in 2022 with an overall decline of nearly 35% in the last decade.
- Slashing energy imports BY MORE THAN HALF, Minnesota continues to increase its energy independence – with just 9% of energy imported in 2022, compared to 25% a decade ago.
- Renewables account for 81% of ALL NEW POWER-GENERATING CAPACITY built in Minnesota in the last decade.
- In 2022, wind and solar accounted for NEARLY ALL (96%) new generation capacity added in Minnesota.
- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked MINNESOTA 10th out of all 50 states for its overall energy efficiency programs (the HIGHEST RANKING in the Midwest).
- Despite average energy productivity declining in the U.S. last year, Minnesota’s ENERGY PRODUCTIVITY (how efficiently we use energy) increased to 31% from 29% in 2021.
- Minnesotans are increasingly choosing electric vehicles. There are currently FOUR TIMES as many EVs on Minnesota roads as there were in 2018, and more than 1000x as many as in 2013.
Download the 2023 Minnesota Energy Factsheet today.
About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business voice for clean energy in Minnesota. 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 the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE): BCSE is a trade association representing the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors. It advocates for policies at the state, federal, and international level that promote the deployment of the full portfolio of commercially available clean energy products, technologies and services. Learn more at bcse.org.