Environmental Benefits

child in field of flowers

The DNR's on-site renewable energy systems and conservation strategies reduce the need for electrical energy produced by burning fossil fuels, thereby reducing emissions that pollute the air and water. This benefits both the global and local environment by decreasing the impact of pollution and climate change on human health as well as on critical wildlife habitats and ecosystems.

The DNR's renewable energy systems offset over 170 metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions each year.

Renewable energy represents an opportunity for the DNR to help protect the environment and promote environmental stewardship to the millions of people welcomed into the Parks and Trails system every year.

The DNR has developed the Strategic Conservation Agenda 2009-2013. The agenda includes strategic directions for climate-change mitigation and adaptation, conservation-based energy resources, and energy efficiency. For a link to more information about the strategic agenda, see "DNR Strategic Conservation Agenda" on the Links page.

The environmental impacts generally associated with fossil and nuclear power include acid rain, smog, mercury in fish, increasing CO2 and methane levels (thought to cause global warming), aesthetic impacts, and soot and particulates (thought to cause asthma and other respiratory complications), and radioactive waste. According to the EPA, every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by solar power in Minnesota keeps approximately 2 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Environmental Benefits and You

You can make the installation of a renewable energy system a personal priority. The environmental benefits are immediate. Right away, you start contributing to cleaner water and fresher air, and to sustainable use of our natural resources, for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.

Installing your own renewable energy system is a way to participate first-hand in the development of a clean energy future. It's also a way to provide children a greater awareness of our energy resources by involving them in planning, installing, and tracking the electricity produced by your own renewable energy system.