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Most Solar Jobs Are Construction Jobs and Most Jobs Are In Hennepin County

Solar energy is often touted as a way to spur jobs growth throughout the entire state of Minnesota, but a recent jobs report from the solar industry shows the vast majority of solar jobs are temporary construction jobs, and most of these jobs are in the metro area, not Greater Minnesota. Plenty of organizations crow about the solar industry creating jobs, but few people ever ask, "what kind of jobs?" Once you look, you'll see that 68 percent of the solar jobs in Minnesota were installation/temporary construction jobs. Now, I want to by crystal clear. I think temporary construction jobs are terrific,...

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Walz Administration Couldn’t Be More Wrong About Nuclear Power

At a recent press conference, Gov. Tim Walz's administration suggested the economics of nuclear power likely make it too expensive to be part of his plan to produce 100% of Minnesota’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Instead, the administration argued technological improvements would allow wind and solar to reliably and affordably meet Minnesota’s energy needs. Unfortunately, the Walz administration couldn’t be more wrong on either account....

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Refuting “Local View: Minnesota Must Aggressively Move to Less-Costly Renewables”

My piece in the Duluth News Tribune detailing how a 50 percent renewable energy mandate would harm the mining industry has generated quite the controversy, with at least three counterpoints from renewable energy special interest groups. Today, I'm refuting a member of the Citizen's Climate Lobby....

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Isaac Orr Talks The High Cost of Renewable Energy Mandates on AFP Radio

Last weekend I was on American's For Prosperity Radio with Jason Flohrs discussing our latest report on the energy proposals supported by Governor Walz and the DFL house. A 50 percent renewable energy mandate cost $80.2 billion through 2050, which is $1,200 per household per year through 2050, but only avert 0.0006 degrees C of global warming by 2100! Enjoy the show! https://omny.fm/shows/americans-for-prosperity-radio/04-27-19-competing-tax-plans-the-true-cost-of-ener?t=36m59s  ...

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One Korean Nuclear Reactor Would Produce As Much Electricity As All Minnesota Wind Turbines at a Much Lower Cost

Last week, Korean Electric Power (KEPCO) connected its second advanced pressure reactor (APR) 1400 nuclear reactor to the grid. This is significant because these power plants, with a generation capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW), would be able to generate about as much electricity as the combined output of all the wind facilities in Minnesota, for a fraction of the cost. Nuclear power plants are incredibly efficient, with capacity factors of 90 percent or higher. This means nuclear plants will generate about 90 percent of their theoretical output during the course of a year. As a result, building just one APR1400 reactor...

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University of Chicago: Renewable Energy Mandates Increase Electricity Costs

The University of Chicago made waves last week by releasing the findings of a working paper that found renewable energy mandates cause electricity prices to rise. This won't be surprising to our readers, but it is massive vindication for all the hard work American Experiment has put into educating the general public about the negative consequences of renewable energy mandates. From the abstract of the paper: "Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are the largest and perhaps most popular climate policy in the US, having been enacted by 29 states and the District of Columbia. Using the most comprehensive panel data set ever compiled...

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Government Mandates, Not Free Markets, Responsible for Minnesota’s Solar Growth

Solar irradiance, the energy potential for solar, in Minnesota is among the lowest in the country. Despite the poor solar resources in Minnesota, our state had installed 882 MW of solar. In a free market, investors would seek to maximize their returns by investing in solar farms in states like Arizona and California. This strongly suggests the growth in solar in Minnesota is a product of government mandates and rate structures, not free markets. ...

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Environmental Hypocrites of the Left

My friend Todd Myers, of the Washington Policy Center, wrote the following article in The National Review: Why progressives refuse to live by their own Earth Day bluster George Monbiot recently expressed a carefully calibrated environmental message that allows people on the environmental left to feel self-righteous without making any real sacrifice. In a video that was shared widely, including by celebrities such as James Corden, the British writer argues that the only way to help the environment is to change the “big, structural, political economic stuff.” Monbiot concludes that we need to “go straight to the heart of capitalism and overthrow...

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It’s All About the Subsidies, Baby! Minnesota’s Wind Farms Are Being Rebuilt to Capture More Subsidies

The Lake Benton Wind (LBW) Farm in southern Minnesota is being retooled to improve turbine performance and reliability, but most importantly, it is being rebuilt to generate federal production tax credits.  According to North American Wind Power, in 2017, ALLETE Clean Energy announced an $80 million project that includes replacing select blades, gearboxes and generators on turbines at the Lake Benton wind farm in Minnesota’s Lincoln County and the Storm Lake I and II wind farms in Iowa’s Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. The Lake Benton 1 facility was placed into service in 1998, and Lake Benton 2 was placed into service in 1999....

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Star Tribune: Technology, Cost Could Hamper Efforts for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Grid in Minnesota by 2050

On April 20th, the Star Tribune ran a story entitled "Technology, Cost Could Hamper Efforts for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Grid in Minnesota by 2050." It was good to see the paper acknowledging that the policies proposed by Governor Walz and House DLF'ers will be expensive and the technology needed to attain this goal (without the use of nuclear and large hydro) does not exist. ...

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