Minnesota’s clean energy industry shows perseverance and progress through 2021
April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022

Contact: Laura Tierney
Phone: 202.785.0507 ext. 1507

Minnesota’s clean energy industry shows perseverance and progress through 2021

Resilient growth and new milestones show momentum for energy transition

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — The 2022 Minnesota Energy Factsheet, which tracks clean energy trends in the state through year end 2021, was released today by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). The Factsheet demonstrates how clean energy industries continue to lead the energy transition in the state in 2021, despite major obstacles.

The Factsheet tracks key mile markers along the energy transition pathway. In 2021, renewable energy continued to be the number one source of electricity generation for Minnesota at 28 percent while zero-carbon sources, renewables and nuclear technologies, provided the majority at 52 percent. Power sector emissions have fallen 40 percent over the last decade and while they rose slightly in 2021 from 2020 levels, they were still lower than their pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The increase in emissions was expected and driven by an economic rebound and a slight increase of coal-powered electricity due to the high cost of natural gas. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s energy productivity, or how efficiently the state uses its energy, rose again in 2021.

“The data from last year shows how the clean energy transition is happening in Minnesota in real time, and the decline of energy imports is an especially exciting metric as we work to achieve energy independence” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota. “The challenges of 2021 have demonstrated why it’s more important than ever to continue expanding our clean energy sector with thoughtful policy and smart investments.”

“The state of Minnesota continues to lead on the energy transition, as demonstrated by continued growth over the past decade. The data tracked by the 2022 Minnesota Energy Factsheet confirms the industry’s vital importance to the state’s economy,” said Lisa Jacobson, President of the BCSE.  “The facts support continued public policy support and investment in the clean energy sector, for its economic and environmental benefits to residents of Minnesota.”

The Factsheet is a companion to the 2022 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which outlines key trends influencing national and state investment and economics, energy supply and energy demand. Both resources are commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), with research by BloombergNEF. The Minnesota Energy Factsheet is made possible with the support of the McKnight Foundation.

“Minnesota leads the Midwest and the nation in growing an equitable clean energy economy, harnessing our ingenuity and industry to revitalize our communities and provide family-supporting jobs,” said Sarah Christiansen, Director of the McKnight Foundation’s Midwest Climate and Energy program. “It’s everywhere you look. From Mountain Iron to North Minneapolis, Red Lake to Rochester, Nobles County to North Branch, Minnesota communities are already benefiting from wind, solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles—and these benefits will only continue to grow.”

“The data in this year’s Minnesota Energy Factsheet shows very clearly that the Minnesota energy market is leading the clean energy transition,” said Kevin Lee, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. “Since 2005, carbon emissions from the state’s power sector are down by nearly 50%. We will continue to work collaboratively across the state to continue this progress.”

“Our business has grown over 300% over the past several years after refocusing the business to provide engineering services for large-scale solar and other renewable energy projects in both Minnesota and across the country,” said Andy Kim, President EVS, Inc. “This type of growth shows how working to incorporate renewable energy and decrease emissions is helping us transition to a strong clean energy economy and grow jobs across the state as well.”

Highlights from this year’s Minnesota Energy Factsheet include:

  • Minnesota continues to OUTPACE THE NATION in emission reductions – now 45% below 2005 levels vs. the 35% reduction nationwide.
  • POWER SECTOR EMISSIONS in Minnesota have fallen 40% in the last decade. The rebound in economic activity in 2021 has corresponded to a 9% increase in emissions, but they remain below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Zero-carbon power continued to be the MAJORITY OF MINNESOTA’S ELECTRICITY, at 52% in 2021 – compared to the national average of 39%.
  • RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES provided 28% of Minnesota’s generation in 2021. Over the last decade, renewable generation has risen 60% from 10.6TWh to 17TWh in 2021.
  • Renewables account for 81% of ALL NEW POWER-GENERATING CAPACITY built in Minnesota in the last decade.
  • In 2021, wind and solar accounted for NEARLY ALL (98.5%) of new generation capacity added in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota is on its way to achieving energy independence – with ENERGY IMPORTS FALLING to just 10% in 2021, compared to 22% a decade ago.

Download the 2022 Minnesota Energy Factsheet today.


About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business voice for clean energy in Minnesota. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies. Learn more at cleanenergyeconomymn.org.

About the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE): BCSE is a trade association representing the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors. It advocates for policies at the state, federal, and international level that promote the deployment of the full portfolio of commercially available clean energy products, technologies and services. Learn more at bcse.org.

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