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Germany Just Built a Brand New, Clean, Beautiful Coal Plant

Legislators in Minnesota who support mandating more wind and solar onto our electric often point to Germany as an example of we should be doing. Someone had better inform them that Germany, the darling of many Minnesota greens, has just finished construction on a brand new 1,100 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant. This plant would be about half as large as the Sherburne County coal plant, which is the largest power plant in the state of Minnesota. According to Bloomberg Quint, the plant, Uniper’s Datteln-4, will start feeding electricity into the grid on a commercial basis on Saturday. It appears that legislators...

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Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans Removed Due to Alleged Copyright Infringment

Michael Moore's documentary, Planet of the Humans, was removed from YouTube yesterday amidst allegations that some of the footage shown in the film infringed on copyrights. At the time of it's removal, the film had garnered more than 8 million views. The renewable energy industry has been calling for the film to be removed from the platform since the day it was released. These groups made several inaccurate claims about the contents of the film, and while there were some errors in Planet of the Humans, by and large it did a good job of articulating the fact that wind and solar also have impacts...

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Tune in Tomorrow! What Energy Policy Could (and Should) Look Like in a Post-COVID-19 World

Tomorrow, Policy Fellow Isaac Orr will be participating in an online webinar talking about energy policy in a post-COVID world. Early in the coronavirus quarantines, media outlets began reporting on significant changes in the natural environment as a result of reduced human activity. We were told that wildlife was returning to urban areas and that the air was suddenly and dramatically cleaner, as was the water. We were told that CO2 emissions were dropping noticeably and that the reductions in human activity were actually a “silver lining” to the virus. Progressive greens trumpeted the economic slowdowns as something that should be...

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In The Tank (Ep244) – Global Elites Are Prepping for a Global Reset

Hello! Heartland's Donald Kendal, Justin Haskins, and Jim Lakely are joined by Isaac Orr (briefly) for episode 244 of the In The Tank Podcast. The crew discusses Elon Musk: Is he overrated? Is his call for ending the mindless lockdowns a selfish act, or one of principle? They also discuss how the response to the coronavirus is laying down the groundwork for the spread of global socialism. Justin got so deep into the topic, that he worried about heading into "tinfoil hat" territory ...

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How “Clean Energy First” Would Increase Electricity Rates for Xcel Customers

Last session, the Minnesota legislature considered passing legislation called Clean Energy First (CEF). This bill, as the name suggests, would mandate utility companies in Minnesota to prioritize renewable and carbon-free energy sources over traditional energy sources when building a new power plant. Clean Energy First, in this way, is an extension of the renewable energy goals withing the Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA) passed in 2007, which has resulted in a tremendous increase in the cost of electricity in Minnesota. In fact, this legislation has all but eliminated the state's price advantage compared to the national average. The graph below shows residential electricity rates...

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The ECO Act Would Force You To Subsidize Electric Vehicles

Next week, the State Senate will be considering the ECO Act, which would make changes to Minnesota's energy efficiency program, which is called the Conservation Improvement Program, or CIP. There are several positive aspects of this bill, including an important shift away from forcing utility companies to spend more money than they may need to reach their energy efficiency goals. However, there are also provisions of the ECO Act that would force Minnesota families to subsidize electric vehicle (EV) rebates by paying more for their energy each month, and these provisions should not be included in the bill. Our readers strongly oppose...

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Shutting Down Boswell Energy Center Would Devastate the Iron Range Economy

Standing on the banks of the Mississippi River in Cohasset, Minnesota, the Boswell Energy Center is the most productive, lowest-cost source of electricity in the entire state. Because Minnesota’s mining and paper industries use massive quantities of electricity, only the coal-fired Boswell plant can provide the reliable, affordable electricity needed to keep these industries running strong. However, liberal lawmakers from the Twin Cities—and their friends in the wind and solar lobby—want to shut the plant down to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even though doing so would have zero measurable impact on future global temperatures. It would, however, have devastating consequences for Iron...

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How Falling Production From Wind Turbines Increases the Cost of Wind Energy

Yesterday, we wrote about a newly-released, peer-reviewed study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found a steep drop off in wind turbine production over the course of a wind turbine's lifetime. The fact that wind turbines produce less electricity as they age has means that most of the cost estimates for electricity generated from wind turbines that don't take this production decline into account are too low. Less Productive Means More Expensive The cost of generating electricity from all power plants is often expressed using a metric called the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), which attempts to figure out the...

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Minnesota Wind Facilities Responsible for Hundreds of Bird and Bat Fatalities to Start 2020

The start of 2020 hasn’t been good for anyone. No more so for the birds flocking around Minnesota wind farms. Based on documents filed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Minnesota wind facilities are responsible for at least 330 wildlife fatalities in 2020. These fatalities span 42 different species, six of which are listed in Minnesota’s Wildlife Action Plan as Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) including two that are Species of Special Concern (SPC). However, this certainly is not a total estimate of the number of wildlife fatalities caused by wind farms in Minnesota. Bird and bat fatality monitoring is required only...

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U.S. Wind Turbine Output Drops Steeply After Ten Years, When The Subsidies Expire

A newly-released study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) drops an enormous bombshell on wind energy in the United States. The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Joule, examines production decline data from 917 wind facilities throughout the United States, and found that wind turbines become 13 percent less productive by the time they are 17 years old, and that most of the decline in production occurs after year ten, which just so happens to be the time frame when the projects are no longer eligible for federal subsidies. It's All About the Subsidies, Baby! Wind power is entirely dependent upon...

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