Governor Tim Walz has announced a package of energy policies which together create his proposal to put Minnesota on a path to 100% clean energy by 2040. The policies build on the past success of the Next Generation Energy Act while ensuring reliable, affordable electricity to Minnesota residents and businesses.
Not only is clean energy the right and responsible choice for future generations, clean energy maximizes job creation and grows our economy, which is especially important as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan includes four parts. Each piece has overlapping themes and protections for Minnesota families and businesses.
The Plan Includes:
A Goal of 100% Clean Energy By 2040
This requires all Minnesota electric utilities to use only carbon-free energy by 2040. The proposal includes provisions to ensure communities who formerly relied on fossil fuel generating plants reap the benefits of the clean energy transformation, while also prioritizing local jobs and family sustaining wages.
Three of Minnesota’s largest utilities—Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and Great River Energy—have already committed to 100% clean energy by mid-century or sooner. The governor’s goal is still important to ensure affordability, and community transition goals are included in electric utility planning. Minnesota companies including 3M and Target have also pledged to receive 100% of their energy from clean energy sources.
Clean Energy First
This regulatory policy requires utilities investing in new electricity generation to prioritize energy efficiency and clean energy every time it’s reliable and affordable. It is the common sense approach to transitioning our energy systems. It will also help workers and communities transition into the clean energy revolution that is already underway. Between now and 2040, over half of our current electricity generation, comprising 95% of Minnesota’s greenhouse gas emissions, will likely be outdated and not cost competitive.
This policy may also be introduced as a stand-alone piece of legislation. Learn more about the specifics of the this policy.
This component builds on the past success of Minnesota’s existing energy efficiency program by supporting a greater range of technologies and fuel choices. It encourages utilities to create programs that help businesses and consumers switch to more efficient, cleaner energy. This proposal will allow more low-income Minnesotans to benefit from energy efficiency programs that lower heating and electrical bills.
This policy is a stand-alone proposal known as the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act (ECO).
Carbon Reduction Goals for Existing Buildings
This proposal would set a state goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings in half by 2035.