Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the 2025 Energy Action Plan centers on consensus-driven, near-term strategies that add value to Minnesota’s dynamic energy landscape.
The project was coordinated by a multisector team including staff from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Legislative Energy Commission, Great Plains Institute, and LHB, Inc.
The project team worked closely with a multidisciplinary group of over 50 stakeholders to collect input on energy technologies and strategies. A list of Stakeholder Advisory Committee members and additional contributing stakeholders is located in the final report.
October 12, 2016
Learn what you can do to help Minnesota reach and exceed its energy goals.
In 2014, Minnesotans spent $11 billion on transportation fuels, the majority of which were imported from out of state. The opportunity to keep transportation fuel dollars in the state and increase the sector’s clean energy footprint is significant. Stakeholders’ strategies focus on electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.
Increase adoption of personal electric vehicles
Electrify fleet vehicles
Increase adoption of alternative-fuel heavy-duty vehicles
Energy supply and grid modernization
Electricity generation in Minnesota accounts for 29 percent of total energy use in the state, with 44 percent of the energy used to produce electricity coming from coal. In order to promote local energy resources and keep additional energy dollars in the state, Minnesota can effectively integrate additional clean energy resources onto the grid and establish pricing signals that more accurately capture the cost of electricity generation. Stakeholders’ strategies focus on grid modernization and pricing and tariff structures.
Deploy advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
Enable smart inverter functionality
Integrate energy storage and demand response
Adopt time-based rates
Expand and improve utility green energy options
Efficient buildings and integrated energy systems
Residential and commercial buildings account for two-thirds of the state’s electricity use and more than half of natural gas delivered in Minnesota. Minnesota has demonstrated national leadership and progress toward an energy efficient building stock already. This section focuses on strategies to improve building performance through optional stretch codes, enhanced energy data access, improved behavioral strategies, and advancing integrated energy systems through thermal grids and combined heat and power (CHP) development.
Adopt SB2030 as an optional stretch code that can be adopted by local jurisdictions
Enhance energy data access
Increase adoption of commercial building energy benchmarking and disclosure programs
Improve building operations to capture energy efficiency opportunities
Promote behavioral energy efficiency strategies
Identify opportunities for thermal energy grids
Support combined heat and power (CHP)
Industrial and agricultural processes
Minnesota’s industrial and agricultural sectors contribute significantly to the state’s economy, and account for 34 percent of the state’s energy use. Minnesota has been a national leader in bioenergy development, and industries have made progress toward increased energy productivity. This section focuses on strategies to promote bioenergy and reduce wasted energy and promote a clean energy focus in Minnesota’s industries.
Commercialize advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals
Capture organic feedstocks through anaerobic digestion
Promote industrial and agricultural efficiency practices
Coordinate and promote the clean energy industry
Local planning and action
Leading local governments and tribal nations in Minnesota are demonstrating that it is possible to make progress toward a cleaner, more resilient energy system at the local level; for example through voluntary participation in challenges around best practices. Understanding that many changes start at the local level, stakeholders identified strategies to advance local energy planning and pursue near-term actions at the local level.
42 percent of energy inputs in Minnesota were put to use in 2013. More than half of the energy ended up as waste, such as heat that’s vented off power plants or released from vehicle engines. (figure 4, page 21)
Electricity generation in Minnesota accounts for 29 percent of total energy use in the state, with 44 percent of the energy used to produce electricity coming from coal. (p. 52)
In 2013,residential and commercial buildings accounted for 42% of energy use in the Minnesota, followed by industrial and agricultural processes at 34% and transportation at 24%. (fig. 6, p. 22)
Residential and commercial buildings account for two-thirds of the state’s electricity use and more than half of natural gas delivered in Minnesota. (p. 68)
Since 2003,, gross state product has increased by 12%, while overall energy use has remained flat. This means Minnesota’s overall energy intensity (i.e., the energy required to produce one dollar of gross state product) has been declining in the last two decades. (fig. 8, p.24)
Minnesota’s per capita energy consumption ranks 18th nationally, despite having the third-coldest winters in the U.S. (p. 23)
Minnesota is on track to meet its energy efficiency standard of 1.5% savings in electricity and natural gas per year. (p. 8, 28)
Minnesota has no indigenous fossil fuel reserves. (p. 17)
MN imported 72 percent of its energy in 2013. (p. 17)
In 2015, over 21% of electricity generated in Minnesota came from renewable energy sources. Minnesota is on track to meet its renewable electricity standard for over 25% renewable electricity by 2025. (fig. 3, p.20 and p. 29)
Minnesota is not on track to reach the goal of 25% renewable sources for total energy used by 2025. Strategies in the 2025 Energy Action Plan put Minnesota on a pathway to meet this state goal. (fig ES1, p. 8 and fig. 2, p. 19)
In 2014, Minnesotans spent $11 billion on transportation fuels, the majority of which were imported from out of state. (p. 38)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
While the state’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased slightly from 2012 to 2015, total emissions are expected to exceed the state’s goals for 2015 and 2025 levels. Strategies in the 2025 Energy Action plan help create pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. (fig. 10, p. 25-26, p. 31)