ST. PAUL — Minnesota electric power producers cut back on their carbon emissions by 14% between 2018 and 2019, according to a report from research firm BloombergNEF.
Analysts credit the decrease to a decline in coal usage and a growing reliance on wind and solar power as well and natural gas. Renewable energy and nuclear energy provided approximately 49% of the power consumed by Minnesota residents and businesses last year, according to the report.
The report was compiled for the Washington, D.C.-based Business Council for Sustainable Energy's in America Factbook. Among its findings for 2019 is an apparent two-decade low in out-of-state power imports, although Minnesota is still a net importer of energy.
Decreased imports are attributed in the report to the establishment of local wind and solar projects in Minnesota.
Total electricity usage was down 5% in the state, according to the report, though consumption as a whole has increased by about 2% since 2010. Consumer electricity costs, meanwhile, went up nearly 26% since then, not adjusted for inflation.
That puts the average state power bill roughly on par with the national one. Minnesotans still paid more than the average for states that use the Midcontinent Independent System Operator transmission system.