WASHINGTON—Minnesota Rep. Todd Lippert introduced legislation last week to establish a Minnesota green bank that would put people to work building clean energy infrastructure. The introduction of H.F. No. 2044 comes as a bill in Congress gains momentum that would create a federal green bank to fund projects across the country and provide seed capital for Minnesota green bank.
If the federal bill passed with the proposed $100 billion funding level and Minnesota has established a green bank, the state would receive an estimated $1 billion in funds in seed capital that could create more than 41,000 jobs over the next four years. Many of those jobs would result from investments in three areas: installing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on farms, reducing energy costs for low-to-moderate income and accelerating adoption of electric buses.
“State lawmakers have the opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs as the economy gears up for the end of this pandemic,” said Jeffrey Schub, executive director of the Coalition for Green Capital. “Even better, these jobs would build a clean energy future in Minnesota that reduces energy costs, helps farmers and transitions buses to electric.”
Green banks leverage public funds to stimulate private capital investments in clean, renewable energy and emission reduction projects. The funds are able to be reused since they are paid back.
Last December, the Coalition for Green Capital with support from the McKnight Foundation released a report that found current capital markets and financing tools do not provide adequate support for projects in Minnesota that lower farm operating costs, reduce energy bills for low-income households and accelerate electric bus adoption.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota was behind on its climate goals and with state-wide shut downs, it is unlikely to be on track after it has recovered.
Green banks currently exist in more than 14 cities and states across the country and have supported over $5 billion in investment in clean energy projects in their states and local communities, and much of this investment has been targeted toward low- and moderate-income households and communities. View a list of projects that have been supported by already existing state and local green banks.