Solar energy has the potential to turn Minnesota into an economic powerhouse

Stephen Murphy-Logue - Environment Minnesota intern

Solar energy is the most abundant potential energy source available.
It can be applied to many different applications and has a myriad of benefits. As Thomas Edison once said, âÄúIâÄôd put my money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power! I hope we donâÄôt have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.âÄù Fortunately for us, there is still time to heed EdisonâÄôs farsighted advice.
Minnesota has the potential to significantly increase solar energy output in the forthcoming future. Increasing the stateâÄôs target for solar electricity âÄî homegrown energy from the sun to power our homes and businesses âÄî will transform MinnesotaâÄôs economy, creating good, family-supporting jobs that canâÄôt be outsourced. We need Gov. Mark Dayton and our new Legislature to lead by setting a goal to produce 10 percent of MinnesotaâÄôs electricity from the sun by 2030.
Minnesota presently imports more than $20 billion of energy each year primarily from polluting industries and dangerous regimes. Homegrown solar power will create good jobs right in our backyard and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and dirty energy sources like coal. Producing 10 percent of our energy from the sun would be enough energy for 700,000 homes or 2.3 million electric vehicles.
With a solar resource equivalent to that of Houston or Miami, Minnesota should be a leader in producing solar energy.
Solar energy is an economic engine that will create jobs in construction, manufacturing and installation across the state. The solar industry now supports over 70,000 jobs in the U.S. and is growing rapidly each year. Now our state leaders need to follow this common sense policy that will secure energy independence and economy security for our future!