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“Clean energy” advocates this summer asserted Minnesota’s conservation-and renewable industries are growing jobs faster than the overall economy.

And Advanced Energy Economy and Clean Energy Economy Minnesota want the next governor to adapt policies that will “take advantage of the economic development potential provided by advanced energy technologies and services.”

The August report said efficiency, renewable energy and advanced electric-grid technology employ 59,000 people, grew 2.6 percent last year and are projected to grow by 4.6 percent.
Meanwhile, a coalition of wind, solar and energy-storage industries and local business leaders, including Mortenson Construction, this week embraced a greener future that doesn’t add carbon emissions that scientists say causes a warmer climate and more-volatile weather that grows increasingly dangerous and expensive thanks to record natural disasters.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that solar-and-wind turbine-installation jobs will be the fastest growing categories over the next several years. And a recent McKnight Foundation survey found Minnesota could create an additional 44,000 jobs in wind-and-solar industries by 2050.

Moreover, companies such as Xcel Energy and Great River Energy already have reached their earlier carbon-emissions-cutting, alternative-energy goals and are doubling down as the price of wind-and-solar technology continues to decline as production ramps up.

The advocates want the next governor to work with the legislature next year to:

Increase the state’s renewable energy standard to provide market certainty for utilities and investors looking to build an energy economy that emphasizes economical, low-carbon technologies.

Improve demand-side management in Minnesota, which already is considered one of the top states in the country for energy efficiency.

Modernize the electricity system to focus on consumer needs amid new technologies, and the need to replace aging infrastructure grid modernization and focus on energy storage for wind-and-solar energy.

Electrify the transportation sector; those vehicles are charged at night, when power demand is low and wind blows strongly.

More info: www.windonthewires.org or www.cleanenergyeconomymn.org.

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