Southern Minnesota: An Evolving Alternate Energy Frontier

Martin Mitchell


A combination of physical environmental variables and government policies centered on mandates and production subsidies have led to a robust growth in alternative energies in southern Minnesota. Centered on wind turbine generated electricity and bio-fuels associated mostly with corn based ethanol and soybean-based diesel, these developments provide an example of how state and federal policies can work successfully in tandem with private enterprise to create a new energy frontier in a region lacking in traditional fossil fuel energy resources and feedstocks. The Minnesota example also illustrates how substitution strategies differ from conservation initiatives and distinguishes the differences associated with electrical generation versus the dependency of fossil-based liquid fuels for the transportation sector of the U.S. economy, a situation replicated in Canada.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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