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New energy action plan offers roadmap to reach Minnesota’s energy goals

10/5/2016 12:15:59 PM

Stakeholder-driven report identifies steps forward to continued clean energy success

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – A newly-released 2025 Energy Action Plan lays a path for Minnesota to meet or exceed its renewable energy and energy efficiency goals, while boosting the state’s economy.

Minnesota currently imports 72 percent of the energy it consumes, mostly fossil fuels such as coal and oil. The new report recommends ways to leverage opportunities over the next decade to reduce this dependence and increase Minnesota’s use of clean, affordable, reliable and resilient energy.  

“The bipartisan work of Governor Pawlenty and the Legislature in 2007 shows Minnesota can work across party lines to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy use, without sacrificing reliability or cost effectiveness,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “The 2025 Energy Action Plan continues this work, and outlines the path to meeting our long-term renewable energy and emission reduction goals. I look forward to working with stakeholders and the Legislature next year to build an energy future that is good for our environment, health, and economy.”

“Minnesota has long been a leader in innovative energy policies,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, whose agency serves as the state energy office. “Our state is poised to extend that leadership, as the 2025 Action Plan provides a roadmap to continue moving forward on the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency goals. It is a strategy that will create jobs, strengthen our economy and reduce pollution that threatens the environment and people’s health.”

The Action Plan is the result of a two-year project funded by a competitive grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Minnesota’s energy landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade. The state’s coal-fired electricity dropped to 44 percent in 2015 from 62 percent in 2005, while electricity generated from renewable energy increased to 21 percent in 2015, compared to just six percent a decade earlier. That puts Minnesota well on pace to exceed its Renewable Electricity Standard of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity from renewables by 2025. 

The 2025 Energy Action Plan charts strategies for continued clean energy growth over the next decade. Strategies are recommended under five categories:

  • Transportation. This sector shows the potential for increased use of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, which will reduce oil dependence and carbon pollution as well as energy costs.
  • Energy supply and grid modernization. Modernizing the electric grid enables more two-way flows of electricity, allowing for increased large-scale use of wind and solar energy. 
  • Efficient buildings and integrated energy systems. High-performance building designs unlock new opportunities for energy efficiency and savings, while more integrated energy systems such as combined heat and power increase power plant efficiency and reduce energy waste.
  • Industrial and agricultural processes. Minnesota’s industrial and agricultural sectors are well positioned for further energy leadership by advancing energy productivity, promoting clean energy and commercializing bioenergy resources such as advanced biofuels.
  • Local planning and action. Through their own energy planning, local governments and tribal nations will be key stakeholders in achieving progress toward cleaner, more resilient energy systems.

“What really sets the 2025 Energy Action Plan apart from other energy planning efforts is the stakeholder-driven approach that identifies actionable steps to enable key energy strategies and technologies over the next 10 years,” said Stephen Doig, Managing Director for the Rocky Mountain Institute, which prepared the report.

The project was coordinated by staff from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Minnesota Commerce Department, Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission, Great Plains Institute and LHB, Inc. The project team worked closely with a multidisciplinary group of more than 50 stakeholders across the state to collect input on energy technologies and strategies.

A webinar to provide an overview of the 2025 Energy Action Plan and discuss next steps will be held on Wednesday, October 12, 1:30-3:00 p.m. (CDT). Register for the webinar. Download the 2025 Energy Action Plan.

/commerce/policy-data-reports/energy-data-reports/statements.jspSee what members of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee have to say about the 2025 Energy Action Plan.

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 |


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