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MN and US Energy Resources

MN and US Energy Resources

Minnesota's Wind Energy Potential

minnesota wind and biomass energyThe most recent studies indicate that MN is rich in wind energy which has the potential to produce 32 times the electricity MN used in 2010, and MN is contiguous to several other states with high wind energy resources.  Thus, wind can be a big economic resource for Minnesota.  MN could not only produce it's own electricity, but could develop manufacturing  facilities for wind turbine components and possibly export electricity in the future to states in the southeast which lack abundant resources. 

MN's energy policies should be an important part of the state's economic development policies for the coming decades.  The map to the right shows that MN has high potential for producing electricity from wind over large areas of the state.  The areas with diagonal lines have ample wind resources.  The light green checkered pattern in much of the same area is for biomass.



States' Wind Energy Potential

states wind power 100 ft turbinesThe following map from "The Missing Peace in the Clean Energy Transformation" by John Farrell at the Institute for Local Self Reliance shows the rich abundance of wind energy in the midwest.  Listed are the percents of current electricity usage.  North Dakota has a much higher percent than MN mainly because it has a much smaller population, about 647,000 in comparison to MN's 5,300,000 so its current electricity usage is much smaller.  The map does not take into account which parts of the states are available for wind turbines.  Wind turbines do not take up a lot of space.  Farming and grazing of animals can continue around the space taken up by the turbines.  However turbines are not practical in urban areas because of limited space and because the blades cast long rotating shadows.  They are also not desirable in recreational areas like national and state parks. 

States' Solar Energy Potential

solar energy states rooftopThe map below from Democratizing the Electricity System by John Farrell shows the percent of current electricity that each state could produce from rooftop solar energy.  The price of solar energy has come down and is expected to drop a lot more.  Mass production of solar panels and new discoveries that increase each panel's efficiency contribute to the declining prices. 



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In June 2012, Think Again MN launched a history series that examines politics and policy-making in Minnesota during the last century from the immediate post World War II years up through the 1990s. That era witnessed fierce legislative battles at the State Capitol but it was also a time of shared values that cut across partisan lines. 

Read about it here

MN's Leading Election System

MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

Oregon's Automatic Voter Registration

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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