Goodhue, Minn. could be hosting one of T. Boone Pickens large wind farms, a 78 megawatt installation that could power 31,000 to 70,000 homes according to the Star Tribune. Minnesota has been pushing the envelope trying to lead the way in renewable energy. The goal that Gov. Pawlenty announced in 2006 was to have 25% renewable energy by 2025. They are currently around 9% and making steady progress.
T. Boone Pickens is the man who was going to lead the way to the clean energy future and end a dependence on foreign oil. The oil tycoon started investing in wind and solar, but as the economy fell down, he lowered his goals, understandably. He cut his wind turbine order in half and moved the project out of Texas, where he originally planned putting this large wind farm. Pickens then pursued more natural gas to replace the more expensive wind power. The plan still aims to replace a third of all foreign oil imports in 10 years.
California has the highest renewable energy portfolio standards set with 33% by 2020, and Colorado has a goal of 30% by 2020. Missouri’s goal however is 11% renewable sources by 2020, very low by comparison. Even Kansas has higher goals at 20% by 2020. Columbia is going beyond state determined goals with 15% by 2023, still lower than most other states.
The differences generally come down to the available options for renewable sources in each state and their politics. Missouri could be investing more and setting higher goals in renewable energy, but legislators and politicians have not made it a top issue.