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Moving Minnesota's Public Debate Forward

Energy & Environment

Diverse and renewable energy policies strengthen Minnesota's economy and environment.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: A Three –Legged Stool with a Missing Leg

Drafting and passing effective public policies is a tricky business that often ends with unexpected and potentially counterproductive results. Sometimes this is a reflection of our lack of understanding of the causes of specific human, environmental, or economic behavior that we seek to alter. Other times, policies can interact in puzzling ways. Though frustrating, these unexpected outcomes provide the empirical data to better understand and improve policymaking and illuminate how sometimes disparate processes or parts of human society interact. The examples are plenty in energy and environmental policy where the…

The Sun Drives Economic Development in Minnesota

Minnesotans are squinting up at the sun and leaning into the wind in efforts to link their pocketbooks and the natural environment to benefit both from clean energy development and economic development. We now get about 15 percent of our total electricity generated by windmills on wind farms, primarily in southern and southwestern Minnesota. We have goals of generating 1.5 percent of our electricity need by 2020 from solar energy development, but the flurry of development activity currently underway suggests that may be a low target. Economics and “green” energy…