Germany latest stop for state leaders on energy, jobs mission

Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon and a group of state leaders are in Berlin this week looking at that country’s focus on green energy and jobs.

The University of Minnesota’s Center for German and European Studies sponsored the group, but expenses are being paid by a German grant that fosters transatlantic exchange.

Others on the trip:

  • Robert Ambrose, director of government affairs, Great River Energy
  • Ellen Anderson, public utilities commissioner
  • State Sen. Scott Dibble, member of the Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; Tax; and Transportation committees
  • Bill Grant, deputy commissioner for energy and telecommunication, Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • State Rep. Tom Hackbarth, Capital Investment; Finance; and Ways and Means committees and Energy subcommittees of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy committee
  • Margaret Hodnik, vice president for regulatory and legislative affairs, Allete/Minnesota Power
  • Rep. Frank Hornstein, member of Transportation Policy and Finance; Government Operations and Elections; and Ways and Means committees
  • State Sen. John Howe, member of Transportation; Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications; Jobs and Economic Growth; and Tax committees
  • Al Juhnke, state agriculture and energy field representative for Sen. Al Franken
  • Steve Kelley, senior fellow and director of Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy, U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • State Sen. Doug Magnus, member of Agriculture and Rural Economies; Capital Investment; Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications; and Finance committees
  • Rolf Nordstrom, executive director, Great Plains Institute
  • Dennis O’Brien, Minnesota Public Utilities commissioner
  • Connie Perpich, Center for German and European Studies advisory board
  • State Sen. David Senjem, member of Capital Investment; Higher Education; Rules and Administration; Tax; and Transportation committees
  • Elizabeth Wilson, associate professor of energy and environmental policy, U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs

The group hopes to learn how “Germany’s states, counties and cities create effective institutions and structures for the decentralized production and delivery of alternative energies while simultaneously producing new jobs,” said a statement from the U of M.

They’ll look at policy, comparing energy systems, wind and solar, connecting green energy to economic growth and practical challenges.

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