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NBC News reports the Rooftop where the gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses Classified Documents Case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Report: Carbon-free sources now power more than half of Minnesota’s electricity

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024   

Minnesota is a leader in renewable energy - getting 54% of its electricity from zero-carbon sources last year, according to the 2024 Minnesota Energy Factsheet released today. The annual report comes from Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

Amelia Cerling-Hennes, managing director of public affairs with Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, said that's 12% better than the national average.

"We're really pleased to see about 600 megawatts of wind and solar getting added, and we're anticipating that that's going to be even higher next year as some of the large utility-scale projects that are being built right now kind of come online," she said.

Carbon emissions from the power sector also dropped 54% in 2023 with the retirement of part of the Sherco coal-fired power plant. Electric vehicle registrations went up 55%. Last year, Minnesota-based Cummins began shipping electrolyzers, which generate energy from hydrogen.

Andy Kim, president of the civil engineering firm EVS in Eden Prairie, said battery storage will be increasingly paired with large-scale solar projects in the future.

"You get uninterrupted power, you improve grid stability, and ultimately, it will lead to cost savings. And we see battery storage on at least half of our projects right now. And I would not be surprised if within the next two years, we see it on 80-90% of our projects," Kim said.

Cerling-Hennes adds the state made big strides policy-wise in 2023.

"So much happened last year, starting with passing 100% clean energy by 2040. And then following that up with a really historic energy omnibus bill. We created the Minnesota Climate Innovation Finance Authority. We funded high-voltage transmission," she said.

Tara Narayanan, lead analyst for North American regional trends with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said energy efficiency is working - electricity consumption went down even as productivity went up. However, she notes that we need to ramp up the clean-energy transition even faster if we are to meet the goals set by the Paris Accords.

"Compare where we are going against where the U.S. has committed to go, we're really not on track. We're really going to have to make dramatic efforts in order to get to where we had committed to be in 2013," Narayanan said.

The state got $800 million in climate funding from President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act.


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