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Sorry, Citypages. Free Enterprise Has Nothing To Do With Renewable Energy Growth

Citypages writer Pete Kotz recently wrote an article claiming renewable energy is a free market success story, and that jobs in the renewable energy industry are "blowing up" despite "sabotage" from none other than Center of the American Experiment. If a few inconvenient truths about wind and solar energy and a handful of billboards can garner such angst from Citypages, I feel like we're doing something right. ...

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“Clean” Energy Jobs Report Shows Solar Is a Make-Work Program

A new report by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota crows about the number of people employed in the renewable energy sector, but viewed with a different lens, the report actually demonstrates how inefficient solar energy truly is. The report shows nearly 4,500 people are employed in the solar industry in Minnesota, but it fails to mention what hardworking Minnesota families and businesses receive in terms of electricity from these solar installations. That's probably because it is an embarrassingly small amount of electricity. In fact, solar power accounted for about 728,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 2017, which sounds like a lot until you...

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Solar Company Accused of Defrauding More Than 80 Minnesota Customers

The Star Tribune ran an interesting article today about how Able Energy Owner Mike Harvey has been accused of defrauding more than 80 would-be solar customers in Minnesota. There are bad actors in every industry, and just because there is one very bad apple in the solar contractor industry doesn't necessarily reflect on the character of other people. Still it's interesting to note that the solar industry is not all sunshine and rainbows. The article is listed below: The owner of a troubled solar-installation company acknowledged Wednesday that his St. Paul business failed to complete work on more than 80 solar projects...

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Connexus Squanders $31 Million on Solar Plus 2 Hours of Battery Storage

Connexus Energy is building two electricity “storage” systems — solar-panel arrays connected to big batteries. Cheerleaders of solar plus storage have hailed this a victory for our state, but in reality, it's another expensive boondoggle for Minnesota families and businesses who will still rely on the grid for the vast majority of their electricity. Adding solar plus storage is just an expensive ornament on the grid that serves as a vanity project for people who fancy themselves to be "green."...

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Stunning Lack of Intellectual Diversity on Energy Board Explains Poor Decisions in Minneapolis

Yesterday I wrote about how Minneapolis' renewable energy targets are just expensive virtue signalling. A closer look at the City advisory board helps explain why the state's largest city could implement such bad policy. The table below shows the members of the Energy Vision Advisory Committy, which is charged by the Board with reviewing and providing feedback on the Clean Energy Partnership’s biennial work plan. As you can see, there is not a single voice on the committee who thinks it may be a good idea to pump the brakes on spending $473,600 on renewable energy credits that will provide no material...

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State Doles Out Even More Money For Solar Power

The State of Minnesota has gifted more taxpayer dollars to the solar industry. This time the subsidies take the form of a $3.5 million dollar state loan package that was used to restart the production of solar panels at a Mountain Iron manufacturing facility. The plant was previously occupied by the solar company Silicon Energy, before it went bankrupt after the first round of solar subsidies, dubbed "Made in Minnesota," expired in 2017. In fact, nearly all of the companies who participated in the program have closed their facilities in the state or gone out of business. So why is the state...

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Wisconsin Consumer Protection Group Say Focus on Electric Bills Instead of Rates Obscures High Cost of Electricity: What Can Minnesota Learn?

The Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board, which protects families and small businesses from increasing electricity prices, said the focus on bills instead of prices obscure the fact that the state has the highest electricity prices in the Midwest. Unfortunately, renewable energy advocates in Minnesota use the same sleight of hand to try and persuade the general public that the state's $15 billion dollar investment in unreliable wind power has not caused electricity prices to skyrocket. This is simply is not true....

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