Getting to Green in Minnesota

Rows of solar panels and a wind turbine in the background
Solar panels at the Dundas Solar Garden near Dundas, Minn. are pictured on July 12, 2023.
Ben Hovland | MPR News 2023

Minnesota is going green, and fast. Officials have set an ambitious goal — for the state to be carbon neutral by 2050.   

The state is making progress. Over half of Minnesota’s electricity is now produced by sources that don’t emit greenhouse gases.

Last year, state lawmakers set aside tens of millions of dollars for a host of climate projects, from putting solar panels on schools to rebates for electric vehicles. And, the federal government recently pledged billions of dollars to spark the clean energy transition.

But there are still many challenges Minnesota must overcome to “get to green.”

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We need more electric transmission capacity, more electric vehicle chargers and more cost-effective ways to decarbonize buildings, farms and factories.   

Listen to a recording of the first of three live shows on the energy transition guest hosted by MPR News correspondents Kirsti Marohn and Dan Kraker, expanding on the reporting they’ve done with MPR News colleagues in our series Getting to Green.

Then tune in Wednesday at 9 a.m. when the focus narrows to our homes—how do we reduce fossil fuel use in heating and running appliances in our homes. On Thursday, the focus is on electric vehicles and sustainable transportation.    

four people in a studio
MPR News correspondents Dan Kraker (far left) and Kirsti Marohn (left) co-host a conversation about transitioning to green energy with Pete Wyckoff, assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and Margaret Cherne-Hendrick (right), the senior lead for innovation and impact at the nonprofit Fresh Energy, in an MPR News studio in St. Paul on Tuesday.
Maja Beckstrom | MPR News

Guests:  

  • Margaret Cherne-Hendrick is the senior lead for innovation and impact at Fresh Energy.

  • Pete Wyckoff is the assistant commissioner for federal and state energy initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, a new position created in 2023 to coordinate efforts to bring millions in federal clean energy funds to Minnesota.

Support for this series is provided by the Poynter Institute.

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Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.