Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Minnesota Gets Renewable Energy Technology Institute!

Minnesota beat out 16 other states to land the International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI).

The "international" part is a partnership with Sweden to exchange ideas and technology related to renewable energy and efficiency.
IRETI will be a nonprofit academic entity and a for-profit venture responsible for the exchange of technology and ideas between the states and Sweden. Minnesota State University-Mankato will host the nonprofit part in collaboration with the University of New York and the University of Georgia, and the details are still being worked out on the for-profit end. Mankato has a history researching clean energy technologies like biofuels and efficiency.

Sweden - besides sending a lot of emigrants to Minnesota armed with dala horses and lingonberries - is on the cutting edge of cleantech. Right now, renewable energy supplies 26 percent of its energy. Michael M. Wood, the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, explained the significance of the partnership:
This is an excellent example of the kind of cooperation we need if we are going to reconcile the demands of the world economy with the realities of climate change.
Minnesota officials are hopeful that the state will see more economic potential, business opportunities, and job growth from the Institute and partnership.

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