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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.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.