Where Electricity Comes From Quiz

The Union of Concerned Scientists has an informative presentation and quiz on the source of electricity in the East and Southeast of the U.S. Take the quiz – see how you do. Without giving away the answer, you’ll see a figure that fits with a previous post about why energy efficiency is not enough. Change is essential.

So where does Minnesota energy come from? Here’s a graphic from the MN Pollution Control Agency breaking down Minnesota energy sources. “Over half of the electricity generated in Minnesota comes from coal-fired electric power plants. Minnesota receives most of its coal supply by rail from Montana and Wyoming. Two nuclear plants near the Twin Cities typically account for nearly one-fourth of the state’s electricity production.”

So how much of our electricity can we replace with renewable energy here in Minnesota? Well, the Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) law requires that 25% of retail electricity sold in the state come from renewable sources by 2025 and we’re not close to that yet.

  • Wind: Minnesota ranks ninth in the country for wind energy potential (here’s a nifty map showing where Minnesota has wind energy potential). North Dakota is first and South Dakota is fourth), much of which is located along the Buffalo Ridge in southern and southwest Minnesota.
  • Solar: We’re not in as good a shape as Arizona, but we aren’t all that bad, either. Check out this map on Solar Works for Minnesota showing solar power potential in MN. We have greater solar potential than Germany, which is leading the way in solar.
  • Biomass: We don’t hear about this very much, and its not something most average people can access, but check out what the Union of Concerned Scientists has to say about biomass. We DO have biomass resources in Minnesota.

A few resources to bookmark when you want to learn more about energy, energy policy, and renewable energy resources:

About thinkofitasanadventure

We are a 50-something couple living in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis. We attended a sustainability conference at our local high school in November 2010, with keynote speaker Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. What we heard shocked us deeply. We finally understood the need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We immediately began to change the way we live. We joined together with other folks in our neighborhood to learn more, to do more and to have fun doing it! We're part of Transition Longfellow. We're choosing to change now and to "think of it as an adventure." If you are on this journey too, we'd love to hear from you.
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