Across the nation the number of people who are using solar power is growing at an incredible rate. This is good news for our environment and for our pockets. Here in Minnesota, solar energy per capita has risen 42 percent in the past two years and this increase has produced many new jobs in the solar industry. The rate at which Minnesota is moving towards clean energy options is promising. However, we still have room to improve.
Recently, Minneapolis was found to have an installed solar power capacity of 4 megawatts within city limits, which ranked 35th out of 64 cities nationwide in “Shining Cities,” a report released by Environment Minnesota. To provide some regional context, Indianapolis was ranked 6th nationwide and 1st in the North Central region with a total installed solar capacity of 124 megawatts. There are numerous benefits of solar power growth ranging everywhere from the reduction of harmful global warming pollution to the creation of jobs.
Minneapolis has the potential to become a leader among major cities in terms of solar power capacity but it will take combined efforts from citizens, businesses, and government officials to make this happen. The city government can aid solar growth by participating in community solar and investing in solar on government building rooftops. Also, the city can make it easier for home and business owners to install their own solar panels by implementing pro-solar policies and incentives. Making solar options easier and more beneficial to obtain will help Minneapolis become a nationwide leader in solar power.