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Chart of the Day: Minnesota Electricity Sources, 2001-2017

Here’s a cool chart from the New York Times, that has interactive charts for each state showing changes in electricity sources over time.

Minnesota’s chart looks like this:

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The Times follows up the chart with a brief caption:

Coal has been the top source of electricity generated in Minnesota for the past two decades. But coal’s generation share declined between 2001 and 2017 as wind and natural gas generation grew.

The state requires utilities to gradually sell an increasing amount of electricity from renewable sources, with a requirement of 25 percent of total sales by 2025.

By contrast, here’s Iowa’s chart, which shows a larger share of growth in wind power:

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Minnesota has a goal of having could theoretically get 70% “renewable energy” sources by 2050, so a lot will have to change in our electricity grid between then and now. A recent Star Tribune piece on the topic stated that “the deployment of more solar and wind generation would be no more costly than new natural gas power, a cheap source of electricity, according to the study done for the state Department of Commerce. Enough solar generation could be added cost-effectively by 2030 to meet Minnesota’s ambitious solar-power goals.”

A further issue is that, as electric cars and trucks become more common, electricity demand will likely increase.

5 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Minnesota Electricity Sources, 2001-2017

    1. Janis

      It’s shown in the NYT charts, for example, in CA at 16% in 2017. It’s yellow. The challenges in states like MN seem endless. The the tech of conversion of light to electric is inefficient at the moment, panels aren’t cheap, they get lots pricier if they’re built to withstand more precipitation, they need human eyes on them regularly, they can accumulate snow and ice, and battery tech just isn’t there yet to make up for winter’s oh-so-short days. I’d *love* more solar, but we might make more of a dent in carbon emissions with rooftop gardens, rolling with the seasons rather than fighting mother nature for bananas.

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