Wind Energy Could Potentially Expand the Workforce in MN

Duluth Mayor Don Ness and President of Ventera Wind Joseph Woods held a press conference Wednesday about wind energy. Specifically, they want Congress to extend incentives to encourage the wind energy industry's further development.

"We've already made significant progress, and wind farms in western Minnesota now help meet Duluth's electricity demands with clean, non-polluting energy," Ness said. "But there's more progress to be made in Minnesota, and we should continue to invest in wind energy to work towards a cleaner, healthier future for our state."

Currently, wind energy provides nearly 13 percent of Minnesota's power. Minnesota ranks fourth in the nation.

"Wind power is already replacing the dirty and dangerous energy sources of the past and creating a cleaner, healthier future for Minnesotans," said Michelle Hesterberg of Environment Minnesota. "We can continue on this path of cutting dangerous pollution and saving water if Congress acts now to extend critical wind incentives."

Environment Minnesota released a report (details here) that if Minnesota continues growing its wind energy capacity, by 2016 it would be the equivalent of removing 757,000 cars from the roads.

That's quite a lot of pollution.

Then there's the jobs angle. We can import European or Asian technology or build the technology here. Minnesotans will assemble and get the wind farms running. Minnesotans will maintain them. Then consider that we can export.

"Wind power is a win-win: it equals a cleaner environment, more jobs, and better national security while conventional power plants require large footprints, mining, pipelines, and a large amount of fresh water for cooling," said Woods.

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