Economic Benefits

house with solar panels on roof, sitting on a stack of money

Renewable energy and sustainable practices have widespread economic benefits throughout Minnesota, including reducing the economic impact of pollution and climate change on human health.

For the DNR

By generating much of the energy its facilities use, the DNR saves over $40,000 in energy costs every year.

For the U.S. and Minnesota

The DNR helps create jobs by purchasing renewable-energy equipment from U.S. and Minnesota companies whenever possible.

All renewable energy equipment to be installed in 2012 will be ARRA-compliant. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is often referred to as the Stimulus or Recovery act. Its main objective is to save and create jobs.

In April of 2011, Governor Mark Dayton signed energy-related executive orders;

  • Executive Order 11-12 sets a goal of reducing state government energy use by 20% from 2010 to 2015. Achieving this goal will save taxpayers millions of dollars, create jobs, and attract new investments by making the state a national leader in energy efficiency.
  • Executive Order 11-13 ties together previous executive orders and instructs agencies to develop a sustainability plan to modify practices regarding resource consumption, vehicle usage, purchase of goods and services, and facility construction, operation and maintenance.

For a link to more information about these executive orders, see "Governor Dayton's Energy-related Executive Orders" on the Links page.

All of our coal, natural gas and nuclear fuels are imported into Minnesota. Those energy dollars are exported out of Minnesota and the vast majority of the jobs are created elsewhere. However with solar and other renewable technologies, jobs are created in Minnesota.

For Businesses

Installing a photovoltaic system for a business makes more sense than ever before. Rebates from electric utilities, the Federal Investment Tax Credit savings of 30% of the total system cost, and accelerated depreciation mean that renewable energy installations are typically paid for in less than 10 years.

You can calculate how many years it would take you to see a return on your investment in a photovoltaic installation with this handy Solar Energy Payback Calculator.

Because of the rapid increase in the use of computers and other sensitive electronic equipment, more and more homes and small businesses now require highly reliable, quality power. A renewable energy system with battery storage can provide the security of an uninterrupted power supply this kind of equipment demands.

For You

Installing a photovoltaic system can make good economic sense for individuals as well as businesses. See how rebates, tax credits and incentives would affect your potential return on investment with this Solar Energy Payback Calculator.

The price of solar-generated electricity is declining faster than inflation, and utility electricity prices are increasing faster than inflation. Cutting future monthly expenditures is as sound a retirement investment as expanding your portfolio. Most of the cost of a renewable energy system is its initial expense. Once the equipment is paid for, it will operate with minimal additional cost for over 30 years.