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Doubling Down on Failure Fact Sheet

Minnesota currently has a law mandating that 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, by 2025. Some lawmakers have proposed doubling the renewable energy mandate (REM), requiring that 50 percent of our electricity be generated by renewable sources by the year 2030, and Governor Walz has proposed a 100 percent carbon-dioxide-free electric grid by 2050.

This report chose to calculate the impact of a 50 percent REM, rather than a 100 percent REM, because research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows using wind, solar, and batteries to achieve 100 percent of electricity generation would be exponentially more expensive than a 50 percent renewable benchmark.

Enacting a 50 percent renewable energy mandate by 2030 would:

  • Increase electricity costs by $80.2 billion through 2050 and have negligible environmental benefits.
  • Cost of energy would cost each Minnesota household $1,200 per year, every year, through 2050.
  • Cause electricity prices to increase an average of 4.18 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), a 40.2 percent  increase relative to November 2018 prices.
  • Increase household electric bills by $375 per year, a 32 percent increase compared to 2017.
  • Force the Edina school district to lay off 10 teachers to make up for higher electricity prices. Edina schools use 13.8 million kWh of electricity every year. Increasing the price of electricity by 4.18 cents per kWh would result in increased electricity costs of approximately $576,425. Edina would have to lay off more than 10 teachers making $56,000 per year to pay these higher electric bills or raise property taxes to keep them on staff.
  • Destroy 20,950 jobs by 2050 and reduce Minnesota’s GDP by $3.1 billion every year to create temporary construction jobs.
  • Harm energy-intensive industries, such as agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, and mining, the most.
  • Reduce future global temperatures by 0.0006 degrees C by 2100, an amount too small to measure.

In contrast, Minnesota could achieve the same reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by building new nuclear power plants for far less cost. Utilizing Minnesota’s existing coal-fired power plants would save Minnesotans $7.5 billion through 2050 and create 1,500 jobs.

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