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Californians Learning That Solar Panels Don’t Work in Blackouts

We are often told that installing solar panels on our homes can be a great way to ensure that the lights stay on in the event of a blackout, but it turns out that this claim is misleading. According to an article in Bloomberg: "Californians have embraced rooftop solar panels more than anyone in the U.S., but many are learning the hard way the systems won’t keep the lights on during blackouts. That’s because most panels are designed to supply power to the grid -- not directly to houses. During the heat of the day, solar systems can crank out more juice than a...

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Groups Dispute Cost of Renewable Energies

Last week I gave a talk in St. Cloud Minnesota about the findings of our report, Doubling Down on Failure, as part of our Morning in Minnesota Breakfast series to about 50 people who were eager to learn more about why their electricity bills keep rising. I was pleasantly surprised that the St. Cloud Times sent a reporter to listen to my talk, and they published the following article about my presentation: ST. CLOUD — What does it cost to switch to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power? Isaac Orr, a policy fellow with the Center of the American Experment, looked into the...

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WindFail: Congestion on Transmission Lines Hinders New North Dakota Wind Farms

A recent story in the Bismark Tribune states that wind developers in North Dakota are thinking twice about building new industrial wind facilities in the state because there is no room on the transmission lines needed to transport the power to population centers like the Twin Cities. Wind and solar are often built further away from the areas that use the electricity, requiring a massive investment in transmission lines that routinely cost $1 million per mile. The cost of transmission is growing even more as many wind companies seek to build wind turbines in North Dakota and South Dakota, rather than Minnesota,...

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Problems with Metro Transit Electric Buses Show the Technology Isn’t Ready for Primetime

Last week the Star Tribune ran an article entitled "Metro Transit Temporarily Pulls Electric Buses from C Line Because of Problems with Chargers," stating the eight electric buses on the newly-formed C Line would be taken out of service until defects with the charging mechanisms could be fixed. Diesel-powered buses will continue service on the line. According to the article: "The 60-foot electric buses, manufactured by New Flyer of America in St. Cloud, were supposed to charge overnight and then stop for a quick 12-minute charge at the Brooklyn Center Transit Center while in operation. But issues surfaced with the electric fleet’s...

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Sunday Funnies: Diesel Powered Tow Truck Rescues Bus of Anti-Oil Protesters

Honor the Earth is one of the main groups opposing the replacement of the aging Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota, so it is pretty funny that 1) they drive around in a diesel powered bus, and 2) their bus got stuck in a park in Oklee, Minnesota, and required the use of a fossil-fuel powered tow truck to rescue the bus. As Minnesotans for Line 3 puts it: "Driving something that big on wet grass in a park might not be the best way to honor the earth in Oklee." https://www.facebook.com/minnesotansforline3/videos/2525768704182297/?t=1...

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California to Shut Off Electricity to 2.5 Million People Customer to Avoid Wildfires

Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE), which is the largest utility in the largest utility in the state of California, recently announced it will shut off the power to 2.5 million people over the coming weeks in an effort to prevent wildfires. California utilities say it could take as many as five days for the power to come back on after the fire danger has passed as utilities check the lines for fire damage. California has always been a warm, dry state. Historical records show large fires have occurred in California for thousands of years, so it is no surprise that they still...

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Long Island Liberals Wake Up to How Green Extremism Hurts Constituents

Renewable energy groups like Fresh Energy are encouraging the City of Minneapolis to follow the precedent set by the City of Berkeley in California by banning natural gas in new construction within the City to limit carbon dioxide emissions. This would be an incredibly bad idea, as liberal State Senators in New York, which has banned fracking for natural gas and opposed natural gas pipelines, are now finding out. It appears reality is crashing down on liberal elected officials in the Empire state, where the natural gas shortages they caused are threatening public safety and the state's economic growth. According to...

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Problems with Metro Transit Electric Buses Show the Technology Isn’t Ready for Primetime

Last week the Star Tribune ran an article entitled "Metro Transit Temporarily Pulls Electric Buses from C Line Because of Problems with Chargers," stating the eight electric buses on the newly-formed C Line would be taken out of service until defects with the charging mechanisms could be fixed. Diesel-powered buses will continue service on the line. According to the article: "The 60-foot electric buses, manufactured by New Flyer of America in St. Cloud, were supposed to charge overnight and then stop for a quick 12-minute charge at the Brooklyn Center Transit Center while in operation. But issues surfaced with the electric fleet’s...

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