Report: Minnesota could use 100 percent renewable electricity

Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 11:03 AM
posted by rene5432

A new report from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research suggests that the state of Minnesota could already supply its electricity needs entirely through clean energy with the right approach.

The paper, entitled "Renewable Minnesota," suggests that current technology would actually allow the state to supply all of its power from renewable electricity sources, specifically wind and solar.

The argument has generally been that solar and wind cannot actually be relied upon for that much of a region's power, because their intermittent nature will cause blackouts whenever demand is high, the wind stops blowing or the sun is hiding behind clouds.

But the IEER argues that investment in energy efficiency and reducing demand, which tends to produce a much bigger impact for the money spent, would dramatically reduce the cost of switching entirely to renewable electricity. The system would rely on energy storage technologies that are still fairly inefficient, but with low enough demand, that might not matter.

According to CleanTechnica, the report suggests that in the "high efficiency" projection residents would only see their electricity bills rise by around $78 per year to move entirely to renewable electricity.

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