Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the next city in the United States to commit to a goal of running on 100 percent renewable energy. They plan to have all their city facilities running on clean power by 2022 and the entire city by 2030. The Sierra Club notes that Minneapolis is now the 65th city in the country placing fully renewable goals.
Mayor Jacob Frey and the city council announced the city’s pledge last Friday. They join numerous major cities across the country starting to eliminate their use of fossil fuels, such as Atlanta, Orlando, and San Francisco. In Minnesota, Rochester and Saint Louis Park have already made the commitment.
A plan on how to reach these goals will be revealed in the first quarter of next year. The group emphasizes that they will include everybody, such as low-income families, to “receive equitable benefit from this transition.” This is because the city will be able to create more jobs with local renewable sources instead of importing coal from other states.
“Minneapolis is committing to using 100% renewable energy by 2030,” Mayor Frey said on Twitter. “From our pollution control ordinance to green business incentives to becoming the first perc-free city in the USA, Minneapolis will continue leading on climate change & environmental issues.”
There was a unanimous decision among the group that Minnesota’s use of fossil fuels contributed to the threat of climate change. Coal-fired electric power plants remain the biggest source of energy for the state at 39 percent last year. While coal is still at the top, the trend is certainly heading toward renewable sources.
Coal’s share of energy generation has dropped by 10 percent since 2014. Clean power is now ahead of nuclear power at 25 percent with the majority of that being from wind turbines. Minnesota was ranked eighth last year in net energy generation with 10.9 million megawatt-hours.
Expect wind energy to keep escalating in Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota. According to the Star Tribune, it’s becoming cheaper to build solar farms instead of investing in coal or natural gas. Unsubsidized wind power was at a rate of $45 per megawatt-hour, $4 less than natural gas in the state.
While Minnesota is thriving on wind power, they’re still continue to grow their solar energy output. As of last September, the state had over 430 megawatts of solar power installed. US Bank Stadium, which hosts the Minnesota Vikings football team and held the most recent Super Bowl game, already offsets 100 percent of its energy use.