Minnesota Act Sets Efficiency and GHG Goals while Boosting Renewables

Last month, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, which will increase energy efficiency, expand community based energy development, and establish a statewide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; it supplements the aggressive 25 x ’25 renewable energy standard proposed by the Governor and signed earlier this year.

“The best time to have taken action on energy issues would’ve been 30 years ago. The second best time is right now,” Governor Pawlenty said. “The nation has been asleep at the switch, but here in Minnesota we are kick-starting the future by increasing our nation-leading per capita renewable fuel use, boosting cost saving measures and tackling greenhouse gas emissions.”

Following the framework developed early in the legislative session with the passage of one of the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy standards (or renewable energy portfolio), the Next Generation Energy Act establishes nation-leading requirements on Minnesota’s electric utilities while ensuring reliability and protecting the cost-competitiveness of Minnesota’s electric system.

The Next Generation Energy Act includes the Demand Efficiency Initiative to double the amount of energy saved by Minnesota’s utilities by transitioning Minnesota from energy efficiency spending goals to energy efficiency savings goals. The Next Generation Energy Act expands and strengthens Minnesota’s commitment to the development of locally owned renewable energy projects. Last, it calls for placing Minnesota into the top two states (with California) towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by establishing statewide GHG reduction goals of 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050.

Earlier this year, the Governor signed legislation containing the first components of his Next Generation Energy Initiative.

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