FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2017
Contact: Laura Tierney
Minnesota a Clean Energy Leader in American Sustainable Energy Transformation
Sustainable Energy in America Factbook and Minnesota Factsheet Provide Insight Into Key Energy Trends Contributing to American Competitiveness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – American consumers spent less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2016, the smallest share ever recorded by the U.S. government, a new study finds. This and other trends hold true in Minnesota, where consumers enjoy retail electricity rates below the national average. This comes with a steady increase in renewables powering the Minnesota grid, and natural gas providing an increasing share of electricity generation. These findings from the 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook and BCSE’s Minnesota Clean Energy Factsheet will be presented today at a briefing at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. The event is held in conjunction with partners Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, the Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, (Greater MSP), and the McKnight Foundation.
The 2017 Factbook and the Minnesota Factsheet, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), outline key trends influencing national and state investment and economics, energy supply, and energy demand. As the American energy sector continues a transformation to cleaner, cheaper sustainable energy, Minnesota remains a leader among the states. ACEEE ranks it 10th out of all 50 states for its overall energy efficiency programs. Minnesota is also the third largest state by installed community solar capacity, at 10.7 MW, and has over 3.2 GW of installed utility-scale wind capacity. Importantly, clean energy is also powering the Minnesota economy by supporting over 54,000 jobs in 2016.
Industry leaders are seeing these trends play out in Minnesota:
“Minnesota is incredibly well-positioned for continued growth in sustainable energy,” said Ken Smith, President and CEO of Ever-Green Energy. “In addition to the use of renewables, continued success hinges upon our ability to increase overall energy system productivity by driving greater efficiency at the production level and minimizing wasted energy throughout the system. Accomplishing this will require developing integrated solutions that are effective at the local level. I think we will see a continued market demand for increased efficiency, together with renewable integration and cost parity.”
“The upward trend in energy storage solutions for grid capacity indicate the vast potential for buildings to act as a grid resource,” said Nanette Lockwood, Director Policy and Advocacy Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand.
The 2017 Factbook and Minnesota Factsheet reflect Minnesota’s clean energy leadership and sustainable energy’s benefits for the American economy:
"The Minnesota Factsheet reflects the state’s strong leadership position in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota. “Our energy generation mix is becoming more diverse, clean energy costs continue to decline, and the benefits of energy efficiency are substantial. This is all good news for Minnesota and our economy."
“The contributions of sustainable energy to the country’s economic competitiveness are direct, dramatic and dynamic,” Lisa Jacobson, President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy said in highlighting the value of the Factbook. “The trend lines in the 2017 Factbook are clear: energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy are benefitting American consumers, American businesses and American manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy wins for America.”
The 2017 Factbook is provided in a PowerPoint format (totaling 164 slides) and is intended to serve as a reference guide of energy statistics throughout the year. The Minnesota Factsheet is a shorter companion resource that can be used as a quick reference guide. Both can be downloaded from the BCSE website: https://www.bcse.org/sustainableenergyfactbook/.