KEYC – Mankato News, Weather, Sports – – Solar Energy Moving Forward In Minnesota
Midwest and East Coast before flying over the Atlantic Ocean . It may also stop in southern Europe or North Africa, depending on weather conditions. Some legs of the trip, such as over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, will mean five days and five nights of flying solo. The fuel-free aircraft’s flight has excited people across the world who see solar power as the fuel of the future, providing a source of clean, renewable energy. One drawback of using the sun’s energy was the high cost of solar electric panels. But in recent years, solar panels have become 70 percent less expensive and are expected to become cheaper still as newer, more energy-efficient materials are developed.
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Minnesota Community Solar Lead Designer Steve Coleman says, “The price of the sun is not going to be going up the next ten years, we know that.” The Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force is educating people on community solar gardens and how to start up their own solar projects. Organizers say the prices for solar energy are continuing to fall as technology improves. Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force Member James Dontje says, “It’s time to start thinking about some new choices, particularly for a region like ours where we don’t have any fossil fuel sources. Money we spend on fossil fuels leaves the region.” Even though people in the area may not be using solar energy just yet, Minnesota could be switching on the light towards producing and keeping energy in-state. Coleman says, “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to bring energy production into the state of Minnesota rather than buying it out of state.” The chance to start adding solar projects is powering the way towards more cost-efficient sources of energy. Dontje says, “A combination of environmental concerns, utility costs and developing technology, there are a lot more opportunities than there used to be for renewable energy, particularly there for solar electricity.” And solar electricity could be lighting the future if its use becomes widespread. Coleman says, “Very exciting to be here in Minnesota where the state has developed good systems and the industry has responded with enormous opportunities for jobs in Minnesota, new industries in Minnesota, and cleaner energy produced in our state.” –KEYC News 12
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