100% of Minnesota’s electricity generation needs can be met by wind and solar sources combined with improvements to the state’s electric grid system and energy efficiency policies, according to a report released today.
Researched and written by Dr. Arjun Makhijani and Christina Mills of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) and Dr. M.V. Ramana of Princeton University.
Minnesota’s electricity sector currently accounts for over one third of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. State policy is to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.
“A significant change in electricity generation sources is clearly needed to achieve that goal,” Dr. Makhijani explained. “Fortunately, wind and solar can provide 100% of Minnesota’s electricity. These currently available technologies also offer significant job creation and economic development opportunities.”
The notion that solar and wind energy cannot be the mainstay of an electricity generation system because they are intermittent is incorrect…it is technically and economically feasible to meet the entire 2007 electricity demand of Xcel Energy [in Minnesota] using only renewable energy generation combined with storage technology and energy efficiency improvements.
The renewable energy mix would include approximately 13,000 megawatts of wind power and 4,600 megawatts of distributed solar PV…would pump more than $90 billion into the state’s economy and create 50,000 jobs.
With the combination of new renewable energy and significant energy efficiency, electricity rates rise slightly but Minnesota ratepayers are held relatively harmless.
The conventional notion of a “peak load” needs to be replaced in designing an electricity system with a high proportion of solar and wind energy…The crunch time may be during periods when the wind and solar supply are low relative to demand.
Thx to Don Burke