Governor Walz declares April 11 as ‘Clean Energy Business Day’

April 11, 2024
In affirming Minnesota’s commitment to a carbon-free future, Governor Tim Walz emphasized the pivotal role of the state’s clean energy sector and its substantial contributions to Minnesota’s economic landscape. He issued a proclamation designating April 11, 2024, as Clean Energy Business Day across Minnesota.

Minnesota’s clean energy businesses critical to achieving state’s 2040 legislation

ST. PAUL, Minn. — In affirming Minnesota’s commitment to a carbon-free future, Governor Tim Walz emphasized the pivotal role of the state’s clean energy sector and its substantial contributions to Minnesota’s economic landscape. He issued a proclamation designating April 11, 2024, as Clean Energy Business Day across Minnesota.

This proclamation aligns with the eighth consecutive Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol, a significant event dedicated to education and advocacy for individuals and entities engaged in Minnesota’s energy efficiency and clean energy sectors. A steadfast advocate for the clean energy business community, Governor Walz has notably enacted the 100% Clean Energy by 2040 law and established the state’s Climate Action Framework with a net-zero goal economy-wide by 2050.

Quick fact: This year’s Clean Energy Business Day will be the largest in its eight-year history, with over 200 people scheduled to attend at the Capitol.

“Clean energy encompasses thriving business sectors including energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, electric vehicles, clean fuels, energy storage, and advanced grid technologies that together are critical to Minnesota achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 – and carbon-free electricity by 2040,” reads the Governor’s proclamation.

“The State of Minnesota is moving our state’s Climate Action Framework into action, to strengthen Minnesota’s clean energy economy now, and to build our clean energy future,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. “The historic investments in funding and programs from the federal and state government have presented new opportunities in clean energy. We are excited to see many Minnesota businesses stepping up to take on new roles in the clean energy economy.”

“We are at an essential juncture for Minnesota’s clean energy industry. Our business community is the key ingredient in delivering the ambitious objectives laid out by policymakers,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy MN. “The clean energy transformation in Minnesota is not only creating family-sustaining jobs, but also bolstering our economy while providing cost-effective, reliable, and locally-sourced energy today — and for future generations of Minnesotans.”

“Minnesota’s solar industry continues to be a bright addition to Minnesota’s clean energy economy,” said Logan O’Grady, Executive Director of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA). “We are now at a critical turning point in our state’s carbon-free transition and while we work toward our new state energy goals, we must prioritize an ‘all of the above’ approach for solar and energy storage deployment. We cannot meet our ambitious 100% carbon-free energy standard without a diversified energy portfolio that includes every scale of solar available. Investments in distributed energy resources will make our transition more efficient, increase grid reliability, lower prices, create more jobs, and result in better outcomes for all Minnesotans.”

“Minnesota is setting the standard for clean energy in the Midwest. Last year’s passage of the carbon-free standard has laid the foundation for what we need to achieve over the next 16 years,” said Peder Mewis, Regional Policy Director at Clean Grid Alliance. “While we recognize this is a challenging goal, Minnesota continues to move forward and enact policies that move the state closer to reaching full implementation.”

“The permitting reform legislation moving through the House and Senate this session is a great example of how a broad coalition of stakeholders can come together to enact a policy that will be a model for the entire region,” continued Mewis.

“Since our last Clean Energy Business Day, Minnesota’s agencies, nonprofits, and businesses have laid the groundwork to capitalize on upcoming federal and state energy efficiency and electrification programs,” said Audrey Partridge, Director of Policy at Center for Energy and Environment. “We are expanding our local, skilled clean energy workforce and business community by tapping into Minnesota’s diverse communities to realize the incredible opportunities available through the IRA, the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act, and other state incentive programs. These efforts will reduce emissions, enable higher levels of renewable energy resources, support our grid, and help Minnesotans lower their energy bills, all while helping families and communities build wealth and stability through the local, well-paying energy efficiency jobs the programs support.”

“Minnesota’s clean energy goals require collaboration between private and public entities and using all the tools available to reduce carbon emissions in the state,” said Sheri Brezinka, U.S. Green Building Council Regional Director. Green buildings are pivotal in this effort towards decarbonizing the built environment and ushering in a clean energy future. Through initiatives like LEED and other green building programs, Minnesota’s construction industry is already taking significant strides toward this crucial goal.”

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About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business case 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 Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA): MnSEIA is a member-driven 501(c)(6) nonprofit that promotes and protects Minnesota’s solar and energy storage industries. Representing over 165 member companies, we advocate in the state legislative and regulatory arenas in a unified and actionable way to move solar + storage forward. Find out more at www.mnseia.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 Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE): CEE seeks a healthy, carbon-neutral economy that works for all people. A 501(c)(3) clean energy nonprofit with over 30 years’ experience in energy efficiency, we align our strategies behind technical research, program development and implementation, community engagement, policy advocacy, and project financing. Working across homes, businesses, and communities, CEE discovers and deploys the most effective energy solutions to improve the environment and strengthen the economy for everyone. Learn more at mncee.org

About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. Learn more at usgbc.org.

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