The Finnish Minister of Trade and Development and Finnish Ambassador will visit Minnesota in October and are planning to meet with Governor Walz and other businesses and trade representatives.
Back in the 1990’s all of the solar power installed in Minnesota was known as “off-grid solar,” a thing only interesting to people who owned remote cabins. By necessity, these power systems were self-contained, having energy storage that was optimized for the most run-time that the customer could afford.
When people think about the clean energy economy, what comes to mind? Solar photovoltaic and wind energy are likely at the top of the list. Perhaps other renewable sources of energy like solar heating, ground-source heating and cooling, geothermal power, or hydroelectric. Or non-renewable low carbon technologies like fossil energy with carbon capture or nuclear power. While these are all important, biomass and the bioeconomy are also key contributors to a clean energy economy.
Months into the COVID-19 lockdown last year, positive headlines were few and far between. Among the limited uplifting topics to catch public attention, however, was sustainability. In December 2020, news outlets across the country wrote about data published in the journal “Earth System Science Data” that showed a 7 percent drop from fossil emission levels compared to 2019. That equates to an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes’ difference in CO2 emissions.
There are many ways one can “live the good life,” but for many, it starts with a comfortable home. Leadership of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians were looking not only for comfort when commissioning the Mino-bimaadiziwin apartment complex, but also for housing that encompasses the tribe’s heritage of sustainability and togetherness. In partnership with Loeffler Construction and Consulting, Landon Group, and Cunningham Group, CEE joined this project to bring comfort and sustainability through energy efficiency and to ensure that this building marks the beginning of a long-lasting and sustainable home for members of the Tribe.
Minnesota’s family farmers are already experiencing the climate crisis. There is more extreme weather, unpredictable growing seasons, and increased pressure of plant and animal diseases. Farmers understand the risks of climate change and are coming up with new ways to remain resilient, such as putting carbon back in the soil.
Since 2009, the cost of wind energy has fallen 69 percent, and solar prices have fallen 88 percent. And, according to a Bloomberg article, the price of storage has dropped 85 percent from 2010 – 2018. The low cost and high demand should be the ingredients for a perfect storm of development, fueling terrific job growth and economic development for rural communities.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) estimates that hotels represent more than five billion square feet of space in the US alone. Spaces that operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With such a large footprint, sustainability needs to be top of mind, especially as society is increasingly asking for more ways to protect our resources and be more efficient with our energy use.
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