Minnesota’s investment in wind energy has cost state taxpayers billions of dollars while failing to produce meaningful cuts to the state’s carbon output, according to an October report from the Center of the American Experiment.
Minnesota’s relatively average standing in energy spending and consumption makes it a good case study on how clean energy investment will play out across other states, Inside Sources reports.
Minnesota has spent around $10 billion on green energy infrastructure, such as wind farms and transmission lines. Energy prices, however, have risen from about 18.2 percent below the national average from 1990 to 2009 to above the national average for the first time in February 2017 since the figure was tracked in 1990, according to the report.
“Minnesota has lost this competitive advantage with little to show for it, except higher electric bills,” the report states. “Minnesota’s aspirational energy policy is a grand exercise in virtue signaling that does little to reduce either conventional pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.”
Minnesota law set “ambitious” carbon reduction goals. Starting with a baseline of carbon production in 2005, the state was supposed to achieve a 15 percent reduction by 2015. It had achieved only a 6.6 percent reduction by 2014.
More goals are a 30 percent reduction by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050; however, each successive step looks increasingly doubtful if Minnesota could not come close to hitting its first one.
“Despite this massive investment, the federal government reports that reductions in Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions … failed to keep pace with overall U.S. reductions,” the report states.
“Carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector in 2014 were the same as they were in 1990 when there was virtually no wind power in the state,” the report continues. “While electric power carbon emissions are lower today than in 2005, the state has made little to no progress since 2009, even as electricity generated by wind increased by 92 percent.”
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