A shocking new report from the Center of the American Experiment found that a 50 percent renewable energy mandate would cost $80.2 billion in Minnesota alone by the year 2050.
Minnesota’s current renewable energy mandate, or REM, requires that 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2025, but some Democratic lawmakers would like to see that number raised to 50 percent by 2030. Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) recently proposed making Minnesota 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
The Center of the American Experiment’s report chose to focus on the 50 percent by 2030 figure since research has shown that “using wind, solar and batteries to achieve 100 percent of electricity generations would be exponentially more expensive than a 50 percent renewable benchmark.”
It’s important to note that Walz’s proposal calls for 100 percent carbon-free energy, rather than strictly renewable energy, meaning sources like nuclear energy could still be used heavily.
The report’s first finding states that a 50 percent REM would “increase electricity costs by $80.2 billion to meet mandated renewable energy goals and maintain this electric system through 2050.”
The report, titled “Doubling Down on Failure,” further finds that a 50 percent REM would “destroy 20,950 jobs by 2050 and reduce Minnesota’s GDP by $3.1 billion every year to create temporary construction jobs.”
“Renewable energy advocates claim the renewable energy industry has created 7,421 jobs in Minnesota, but nearly all of these jobs are temporary construction jobs. In contrast, the economic modeling software IMPLAN shows higher electricity prices from renewable energy will destroy 20,950 more-permanent jobs through 2050,” the report states.
Its final finding predicts that a 50 percent REM would “reduce Minnesota’s share of carbon dioxide emissions by only 0.0006 of the global total by 2030.”
“Doubling Minnesota’s renewable energy mandate would reduce C02 emissions from Minnesota’s electric generating plants from 0.0283 gigatons in 2017 to 0.0052 gigatons in 2030. In 2018, global fossil-fuel-related C02 emissions reached 37.1 gigatons, meaning Minnesota’s entire electric sector accounted for 0.00075 of global C02 emissions,” the report explains.
But the Center of the American’s Experiment’s latest report isn’t all bad news. It concludes by offering “seven common-sense policy recommendations that would reduce the costs of electricity in Minnesota and offer more affordable, and more effective, options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
These policy recommendations include:
- Direct the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and electric companies to study the feasibility of fully implementing the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule
- Legalize the construction of new nuclear plants in Minnesota
- Utilize existing coal and natural gas plants for the entirety of their useful lifetimes
- Require utility companies to factor in the cost of “load balancing” with natural gas backup for renewables in their Renewable Energy Standard Rate Impact Reports
- Repeal the Next Generation Energy Act, or amend it to include all sources of electricity that do not emit carbon dioxide
- End the Community Solar Garden program
- Acknowledge that increasing Minnesota’s renewable energy mandate would be doubling down on failure
“If the main reason lawmakers want to enact this mandate is to prevent global warming, they will cost Minnesota families $1,200 per year while failing to make a measurable dent in global temperatures,” the report’s executive summary concludes.
The full 84-page report can be read here.
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