CEE Statement on Walz Administration Clean Energy Commitment

Mar 4, 2019

Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a set of policy proposals to lead Minnesota to 100% clean energy in the state's electricity sector by 2050. The policies build on the success that Minnesota has already achieved in reducing fossil fuel dependence and increasing the use of clean energy resources to power the state while ensuring reliable, affordable electricity. Gov. Walz's plan has three parts:

  1. 100 Percent Clean Energy by 2050, requiring Minnesota's electric utilities to use only carbon-free resources, with flexibility to choose to set their own pace and process to meet the standard.

  2. Clean Energy First would require that utilities prioritize energy efficiency and clean energy resources over fossil fuels in any proposal to replace or add new power generation.

  3. Energy Optimization would raise Minnesota's Energy Efficiency Resource Standard for investor-owned electric utilities and expand the Conservation Improvement Program.

The new policies build on the success of the Minnesota's Next Generation Energy Act, passed in 2007, which requires utilities to get at least 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. 

In response to today's announcement, CEE's president Chris Duffrin made this statement: 

Today's 100% carbon-free commitment, coupled with Clean Energy First changes to resource planning, will fully decarbonize Minnesota's electric supply mix, a critical component of our state's response to climate change.

Together, these parts of the package clean up Minnesota's electricity supply. The final critical part empowers Minnesotans on how, when, and how efficiently they use that clean electricity supply.

By addressing electric supply and customer demand together, these policies will allow Minnesota to once again lead by example on climate and clean energy.

Notably, Xcel Energy has already publicly committed to generate 100% of its electricity from clean energy by 2050. Greenhouse gas pollution from electricity has already declined about 29% from 2005 to 2016. By the end of 2017, 25% of the electricity generated in Minnesota came from renewable sources such as wind and solar.

About CEE

Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. From research to programs, policy efforts, and financing, CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment.

Media contact

Tim Hanrahan, thanrahan@mncee.org, 612-244-2419

Related links

State of Minnesota News Release
Chris Duffrin bio
WCCO: ‘We Must Take Immediate Action’: Walz, Flanagan Propose 100% Clean Energy In MN By 2050
KSTP: Walz announces plan to move Minnesota to 100 percent clean energy by 2050