Minnesota’s energy future

by Elizabeth Hazekamp, University student

When it comes to Minnesota’s energy future, I hope our policymakers will continue to promote an all-of-the-above strategy to energy policy. While the use of renewables has increased significantly, as Minnesotans know, the sun isn’t shining 24 hours a day and the wind isn’t always blowing at 30 miles per hour.

Because of the extreme cold experienced in Minnesota, we need to have an affordable and reliable energy power to keep lights on, apartments heated and phones charged. Coal is also a sustainable source of power, as the United States has more reserves of coal than any other country in the world — enough to last for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

A letter to the editor on Oct. 20 falsely claimed that wind and solar power could replace the power lost by closing coal plants. Wind and solar can supplement reliable sources of power, but they can’t replace them.

So how can we keep the lights on?

Minnesota got about 46 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants in 2013, and these plants ensure that our families and universities can be provided with the power we need at prices we can afford.

Our weather extremes demand that we have balanced energy choices that are affordable and reliable. Freezing to death in the winter because we don’t have the power to keep us warm is unreasonable.