For more information contact: Jason Wenisch 651-296-2317
ST. PAUL – In an effort to increase Minnesota’s stake in renewable energy, State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) and other House Republicans are announcing the Next Generation Energy Initiative – a plan that would have 25% of all Minnesota’s energy being renewable by the year 2025.
“If we are serious about maintaining our reputation as a leader in the renewable fuels market, we need to create and expand policies that will encourage growth in this area,” Gunther said.
Gunther said the first goal of the proposal is to increase renewable energy production. “Not only do we want to see E85 everywhere – to the tune of 1800 E85 pumps in Minnesota by 2011 – we also want the state to create a functional, homegrown renewable fuel network statewide,” Gunther noted.
Secondly, the plan calls for a better promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. To do this, Gunther said grants will be needed from the Renewable Development Fund as well as other one- time money for things like methane digesters, solar initiatives, and additional renewable energy research.
Gunther’s proposal would also reduce carbon emissions, install gasification technologies, focus on biomass and/or cellulosic materials to help offset corn as the sole source for ethanol, and fund pilot programs to determine which current research programs could help further Minnesota’s renewable energy goals in the future.
“It’s an exciting time for renewable energy in Minnesota,” Gunther said. “The pieces are in place to do great things, so now is the time to act.”
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