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5 ways Minnesota is better because of the Next Generation Energy Act

Energy efficiency helps customers use less energy, and save money, even as more appliances and electronics enter our homes and businesses. Per capita electricity sales in Minnesota increased 1.2 percent per year on average between 1990 and 2007.

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4) Wind power is the lowest cost electricity generation source in Minnesota.The Renewable Energy Standard has also helped slash the cost of wind generation, to the point where wind power is, by far, the lowest-cost electricity generation source in MinnesotaThe Great Plains have some of the best wind resources in the world, which translates into cheap electricityHow cheap? Utilities in middle America have been purchasing long-term contracts for new wind farms for less than 2¢/kWhBy comparison, it costs between 2.5-7.5¢/kWh to run an existing coal or natural gas power plantIn other words, it’s cheaper to build a brand-new wind farm — with a guaranteed electricity price over the life of the contract — than it is to simply run a coal or natural gas plant that is already built, even at today’s low natural gas prices.   5) The Next Generation Energy Act has helped Minnesota’s economy.The Next Generation Energy Act has also been a boon to Minnesota’s economy.  Investments in renewable generation create about three times more jobs per dollar than fossil fuelsThe clean energy sector employs over 50,000 people in Minnesota, and solar installer and wind turbine technician are the two fastest-growing occupations in the countryWind farms also pay over $10 million a year to Minnesota counties for roads and schools. Between 2007 and 2016, Minnesota’s economy grew by 29 percent while greenhouse gas emissions from the electric sector fell by 29 percentAll while Minnesota enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment rates and one of the highest median household incomes in the country.Andrew Twite is a senior policy associate at Fresh Energy, an independent nonprofit that provides in-depth research and analysis on energy issues across MinnesotaFresh Energy was one of many organizations that helped shape the Next Generation Energy Act in 2007. WANT TO ADD YOUR VOICE?If you're interested in joining the discussion, add your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a letter or a longer-form Community Voices commentary(For more information about Community Voices, see our Submission Guidelines.) Email Share Tweet Print Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox First Name: * Enter your first name. Last Name: * Enter your last name. Email address: * Enter the email you would like to sign up with. Subscribe to these regular newsletters: Daily newsletter Sunday review Greater Minnesota newsletter D.CMemo Subscribe Now Leave this field blank: Login or register to post comments Email Share Tweet Print Related Tags: Energy Comments (1) Solving Intermittency Submitted by Mark Kulda on January 8, 2018 - 10:53am Can someone who knows please tell us the latest on the best ways to solve the intermittency issue? The renewable energy referenced in this column sound like great ways to help the environment and provide jobs but the power sources themselves are not 100% reliable, which I think is a consumer's number one priority. Login or register to post comments OAS_AD("Right1"); OAS_AD("x02"); OAS_AD("x03"); Recent Stories Economy Is it even possible to become a farmer in Minnesota today? 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