Minnesota fails in terms of solar

Published 9:15 am Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Minnesota took huge steps in the last legislative session toward increasing Minnesota’s use of solar energy. However, we are still lagging behind the solar movement. In a new report, Minnesota didn’t make it into the top 12 solar states, instead receiving an honorable mention because of the good policies we’ve put in place. For a state with more solar potential than Germany, a world leader in solar, an honorable mention is, or should be, not good enough.

Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center’s new report “Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn From America’s Top 12 Solar States,” was released the first week of August at a press conference in Albert Lea. It outlines ways in which Minnesota can follow the example of top solar states move to a place on the leaderboard of clean, solar energy.

It is not the availability of sunlight that makes solar leaders, rather it is the willingness of elected officials to create effective public policy that allows the development of the solar industry. We made progress in the last legislative session and the state adopted a 10 percent by 2030 solar goal. But we can, and should, do more.

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Minnesotans want good jobs and less pollution; solar energy can make that happen. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that elected officials across the state set bold solar goals and begin enacting policies that will facilitate solar development in Minnesota.


Maia Walhberg
clean energy intern
Environment Minnesota

St. Paul