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.
Renewable Minnesota: Aanalysis of a 100% renewable-energy based electricity system for Minnesota
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.”
From Energy Self-Reliant States:
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
Los Angeles is not only top in California, but also leads the nation’s large cities in water conservation. Since June 2009, when Mandatory Water Conservation took effect in the City of Los Angeles, Angelenos have saved more than 75 billion gallons – more than one-third of what Los Angeles uses in one year.
Water use in Los Angeles has fallen to 1970s levels, despite a population increase of more than 1 million. In fiscal year 2010-2011, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers used an average of 117 gallons of water per person daily – the lowest among the nine U.S. cities with populations over one million.
“Angelenos have embraced water conservation as a way of life and are not only leaders in California, but across the nation. Four years ago, critics said LA couldn’t achieve further water savings, but incentives combined with strong policies, public awareness and a strong response by our customers has led to the lowest water use by our customers ever recorded.”
“Water conservation is the best source of water supply” said Ronald Nichols, General Manager of LADWP. “These reductions in water use result in lower imports of water to Los Angeles. It saves our customers money; it reduces risk of uncertainty of availability of imported water supply sources, and is the most environmentally sustainable means to meet the total water supply needs of Angelenos.”
via Sierra Club
Los Angeles is also second in the state for solar power.