Some Minnesota legislators are getting a little weak-kneed listening to utility lobbyists make hugely ironic claims about the cost of the proposed solar standard and thinking about how much solar this is.
Time for some context.
The originally proposed 10% solar energy standard might have been ambitious by national standards, but the current 4% by 2025 target (with municipal utilities and cooperatives exempted – boo) might earn Minnesota the rank of #5 in solar sometime after 2020, if no one else joins the fray. California and Hawai’i aren’t pictured because the former is already at 1.7% solar and the latter is approaching 3%, with such favorable economics that they don’t need a standard to drive adoption.
Minnesota’s solar economics will be similarly robust in about eight years, but it’s the near term opportunity to establish a market and build manufacturing capacity to serve the Midwest that makes the standard a crucial piece of the state’s energy future.