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Report examines declining renewable energy costs

Published on March 13, 2019 by Douglas Clark, Daily Energy Insider

The 2019 Minnesota State Energy Factsheet maintains renewable energy cost declines have cleared the way for the industry to deliver the lowest electricity cost options in the state.

Officials said the Minnesota State Energy Factsheet is a companion to the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, which is compiled by research firm BloombergNEF for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).

“Sustainable energy’s contributions to Minnesota are expanding and delivering increased jobs and economic benefits to communities, businesses and manufacturers in the state,” Lisa Jacobson, president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, said. “We examine sustainable energy trends across the country – and Minnesota is a clear leader. We look forward to seeing businesses and policymakers in the state build on these encouraging trends.”

The Factsheet notes the cost of wind and solar in Minnesota declined 16 percent and 23 percent, respectively over the past year – adding as an example cost of wind equals to $38/MWh unsubsidized compared to last year when Minnesota wind levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) came in at $45/MWh unsubsidized. With subsidies, Minnesota wind is now $26/MWh.

The report maintains renewable generation jumped 37 percent from 2013 to 2018 reaching an estimated 15TWh, or 25 percent of the state’s total electricity generation mix, making it the second largest source of electricity in Minnesota for the second year in a row.

“The biggest takeaway from this report is that Minnesota has a ton of momentum to make big leaps forward in transforming its energy system,” Gregg Mast, executive director of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, said. “The rapid cost declines of renewables can’t be overstated because each year these technologies become cheaper. Clean energy is a smart choice for businesses across the state and country.”