Minnesota adds solar energy infrastructure but still lags nation

A new report says Minnesota's per capita solar energy capacity grew by 42 percent last year, though the state still lags far behind in overall solar electricity generation.

The report from the group Environment Minnesota applauded state lawmakers for a 2013 law that required large utilities to generate 1.5 percent of electricity from solar by 2020 and set a non-mandatory goal of 10 percent by 2030.

Still, Minnesota ranks 29th among states in per capita solar capacity, according to the report. Critics say in most cases, solar remains more expensive and that the state should hold off on expanding its policies.

However, Megan Spear, a campaign organizer for Environment Minnesota, says the group wants Minnesota policy makers to implement even stronger laws to promote solar power.

"With policy makers continuing to make commitments to clean energy policy," she said, "solar will become more and more affordable until it seems the obvious choice."

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