New Rules home

Democratic Energy: Communities and Government Supporting our Energy Future

Renewable Energy Mandates

Renewable Electricity Mandates in Minnesota: Status and Impact
This paper by John Bailey and David Morris offers a brief overview of the existing renewable electricity mandates in Minnesota, and discusses the impact a proposed extension and expansion of these mandates might have. [see also Press Release]

Minnesota's Biomass Mandate: An Assessment
This June 2005 report concludes that the Minnesota biomass mandate, rather than jump-starting a new industry using new energy crops, has become little more than a very costly waste-to-energy program. Press Release - Download Full Report [pdf]

Although many of the states that have started to implement electric utility restructuring have set up policies to help increase the percentage of renewable energy production, only three states - Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin - have mandated renewable energy electricity production outside the restructuring process. These state-based efforts are models for the others to consider using to jump-start renewable energy development and begin a transition to a more responsible energy system.

Wisconsin passed legislation in 1997 that required each eastern Wisconsin utility to acquire renewable energy generation for an aggregate total of 50 MW of electricity by December 31, 2000 (WI Stats. Sec. 196.377). In 1999, the Wisconsin legislature passed a requirement that each electricity provider in the state have a certain percentage of renewable energy in its mix. The level starts at 0.5 percent by the end of 2001 to 2.2 percent by the end of 2011. The requirement can be met by direct installation or through renewable energy credits from another electric provider (WI Stats. Sec. 196.378).


  • Renewable Energy Mandates - Iowa
    Iowa's 1983 Alternate Energy Production law required the state's investor-owned utilities to purchase of electricity from renewable energy projects. After years of stalling by the utilities, Iowa is now becoming a leading state for wind energy development. More...
  • Renewable Energy Mandates - Minnesota
    In exchange for granting Xcel Energy (formerly Northern States Power) increased nuclear waste storage, the Minnesota legislature mandated that NSP build or contract for wind and biomass power. As a result, by 2006, Minnesota will be home to at least 825 MW of wind energy and 125 MW of biomas power generation. More...


  • Solar Energy Initiative - San Francisco, CA
    In November 2001, voters in San Francisco cast their ballots in favor of becoming a world leader in solar electricity. Seventy-three percent of voters approved of Proposition B to allow San Francisco to issue $100 million in revenue bonds to finance enough renewable energy to supply about 25 percent of the government's needs. If fully implemented San Francisco will become the largest single producer of solar energy in the U.S. More...


Search News Archive

Local Rules
State Rules
Regional Rules
Federal Rules