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Federal Data Confirms Minnesota Solar Panels Don’t Work Well in Winter

Recently-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirms what many of us already knew, that solar panels don't work well in our Minnesota winters. The data is interesting because this is the first time EIA has shown the productivity (or capacity factor) of solar panels on a monthly basis, as you can see in the graph below. While solar panels generated nearly 30 percent of their potential output in July of 2018, electricity generation from Minnesota's solar fleet dropped to 5.6 percent by December. There are multiple reasons for this. One, the days get a lot shorter in the winter...

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Why Is Governor Walz Trying to Mandate Cars That Nobody Wants?

Last week, I testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee about the Walz administration's desire to force Minnesotans to comply with California's car mandates for low emission vehicles (LEVs) and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). During their testimonies, advocates of these new mandates claimed they are needed because there is a huge demand for some models of electric vehicles (EVs) that are not currently offered Minnesota, and that they would be offered here if the mandates went into effect. However, survey data from CleanTechnica.com, which is a website dedicated to promoting renewables and electric vehicles, shows...

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Real Clear Energy: Money & Power: New FOIA’d Documents Offer Ugly Candor About ‘Green Energy’

The article below was originally written by Chris Horner and it appeared at Real Clear Energy. I've added my own commentary within the text of the article below. "Recently, excerpts from notes taken at a meeting at the Rockefeller family mansion between activists, donors and political appointees emerged. They contain further revelations, beyond those first reported. These notes quote numerous, high-ranking political appointees from state government making quite clear that the costly lessons of scandalous Obama-era parade of high-profile and costly green energy boondoggles changed nothing. “Green energy” remains about money and power. As in keeping power, not generating it. The handwritten and typed notes...

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Can Mining in Minnesota Reduce Child Labor in the Congo?

Cobalt has become a controversial topic in the debate over copper nickel mining in Minnesota’s Duluth Complex. This metal, which is used in the lithium ion batteries in laptops, tablets, and electric cars, has become a lighting rod because most of the cobalt produced in the world comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where some of the cobalt is mined using child labor. Virtually everyone has a cellphone, laptop, or tablet that has a battery requiring cobalt. This has led many people to ask the question, can mining in Minnesota reduce the demand for unethically mined cobalt in...

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