MN lawmakers propose 100 percent clean energy by 2040
Minnesota lawmakers that clean energy targets more than a decade ago. Some of those goals have been achieved ahead of schedule. Minnesota generated twenty five percent of electricity from renewable sources the past two years. How fast can those numbers grow a new bill in the minnesota house aims to further expand clean energy in minnesota jamie long chairs the minnesota house climate and energy committee. Hi jamie welcome to climate cast. Thank you for having me paul. What are some specific updated energy targets. This bill proposes well. We are proposing one hundred percent by twenty forty and that is a full decade faster than the bill that the governor In myself senator. Nick fronts proposed last session and we're updating the targets because we've seen that were failing to meet our greenhouse gas goals as a state and we've also seen clean energy become cheaper and cheaper and what are you seeing in the greenhouse emissions and the science. That makes you want to that these more ambitious goals. Now what we got some bad news this year. Unfortunately one of our first hearings in our committee was on the state's greenhouse gas emissions inventory which comes out every two years and we heard that our state is failing to meet our climate goals in that our emissions actually increased since last report one hundred percent clean energy statewide by twenty. Forty sounds ambitious. How do we know it's technologically possible by that what we've seen clean energy become cheaper every year right now. Wind energy is the cheapest energy sources we can find in minnesota and solar is likely to be the cheapest within five years so we've seen the sheriff carbon free energy in the state grow from thirty percent in two thousand and five to fifty percent twenty twenty and we had testimony in our committee from experts. Who have said that across the nation we could see ninety percent clean energy by twenty thirty five and that minnesota with a terrific wind resources that we have in our state. Who'd go even faster than that. You mentioned cost. How competitive is renewable energy today compared to other sources like coal and natural gas. Well frankly it's eating their lunch. If you look at the utilities in minnesota who frankly have been terrific leaders on clean energy we've seen. Xl energy was the first in the nation to commit to one hundred percent carbon free electricity. Great river energy. Our second largest utility announced it would achieve ninety five percent carbon pollution reductions by twenty twenty three and the reason they said they were doing that was because wind energy was so much cheaper than the coal plant that they were operating so it was a benefit for their customers and then just last week minnesota power game one of only twenty or so large utilities nationwide to commit to one hundred percent clean energy. How do these targets compare with other states. Well this would be the most aggressive target that any state has adopted yet. New york state has also adopted one hundred percent clean energy by twenty forty but we have targets that are in the interim For example ninety percent twenty thirty five that are stronger than other states have adopted how quickly are republicans accepting the economic benefit of this technologically driven. Clean energy transition. Well there's there's no reason at all. Why clean energy at can't be bipartisan. In an often is so. I think there is a changing tone on the other side of the aisle from where there has been in the past. And i'm really optimistic that we we can come together. So what's next for this bill. Well today in that house. Climate and energy committee were hearing the bill and then it will be moving forward through the legislative process in very hopeful that we can make progress on the session jamie long chair of the minnesota house climate and energy committee. Thanks so much for your perspective today. Thank you so much have me.