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Germany is Largest Buyer of Russian Natural Gas

Yesterday I wrote about how Germany gets about 37 percent of its electricity from beautiful, clean coal, but it also generates a significant portion of its electricity with natural gas. Whereas the United States has used hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking,"  to turn the U.S. into the largest producer of natural gas in the world, Germany has banned fracking within its borders, and as a result, it instead purchases its natural gas from friendly Uncle Vlad. In fact, Germany is the single-largest consumer of Russian gas, Russia’s natural gas exports to Germany increased 12.2 percent in the first half of 2018, compared...

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EIA Data: Wind Replaced Natural Gas, Not Coal in 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released its electricity data for Minnesota in 2017, and boy, were there some interesting findings. One of those interesting findings is that contrary to the popular narrative that by building wind turbines, we will make Minnesota less dependent upon coal-burning power plants. The graph below shows the annualized capacity factor for each generation source in 2017. I've used this graph in recent blog posts but this merits its own 15 minutes of fame in this post. The capacity factor for coal was 61 percent, much larger than the capacity factor for wind at 35.9 percent,...

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Throwing Shade at the Solar Pathways Analysis: 70 Percent Solar and Wind Would Require We Build 6 to 11 More Capacity Than Nuclear Would Require: At a Massive Cost

Renewable energy advocates have been trumpeting the findings of the Solar Pathways Analysis (SPA) that claims solar power can not only meet 70 percent of Minnesota's energy demand, but it can also do it affordably. However, this type of thinking requires a gold medal in metal mental gymnastics. It's time to throw some serious shade at the SPA for being a shoddy work of scholarship. For the purposes of this article, it's helpful to understand that a gigawatt (GW) is the equivalent of 1,000 megawatts (MW) and 1,000,000 kilowatts (kw). First off, the SPA says we can achieve a grid powered by 70...

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Minnesota Utilities Spur Wind Turbine Building Boom…In North and South Dakota

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota claimed that mandating the use of wind for electricity generation would produce a boom in jobs and generate local tax revenue for rural Minnesota, but many of the large industrial wind facilities planned by the state's major utility companies are in North and South Dakota, sending these jobs and revenues out of state....

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MPCA Testimony: The Air Is Getting Cleaner

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) delivered a presentation to the Minnesota House of Representatives detailing the condition of the state's air. In what may be a surprise to many people, the air quality in Minnesota has improved significantly from 2003. According to an article reporting on the hearing: In a presentation about air quality, Kohlasch and Greta Gauthier, the PCA’s assistant commissioner of legislative and intergovernmental relations, said that the number of “bad air days” – when the air becomes unhealthy for sensitive groups -- is declining, while good days are mostly on the rise since...

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Center of the American Experiment Submits Comments Supporting Twin Metals Minnesota Mineral Lease Renewal

Center of the American Experiment continues to support responsible mining in Minnesota by submitting public comments to the Bureau of Land Management urging them to renew the mineral leases for the Twin Metals Minnesota. These comments discuss the massive economic benefits expanded mining would bring to Minnesota, discuss the myriad shortcomings in the letter written to the U.S. Forest Service written by Harvard economist James Stock, and emphasizes the strong environmental track record of modern mines. You can read the comments at the link below....

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Should Minnesota Require Rooftop Wind?

California has mandated rooftop solar units be placed on every new home built in the Golden State. Given Minnesota winters aren't as conducive to rooftop solar as sunny California, should Governor Walz push for similar measures in Minnesota, only requiring rooftop wind turbines for new and existing homes? The short answer, obviously, is no. I've posted an article from engineering.com to demonstrate just how terrible such a mandate would be....

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Only Two Electric Cars Premiered At Detroit Auto Show

Claims by environmental groups that electric cars would soon be flying off the shelves seem to have missed a key player in making that claim come true: automakers. Rather than a showcase featuring dozens of the leanest-cleanest electric cars on the market, only two plug-in cars were showcased, along with many more SUV's and gas guzzling trucks. The following article was published by the Associated Press: DETROIT (AP) — Automakers have promised to start selling hordes of electric cars in the next few years, but only two will be unveiled at the big Detroit auto show that kicks off this week — and...

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China: No Wind Or Solar If It Can’t Beat Coal On Price

Solar advocates often emphasize the fact that the cost of solar panels has fallen about 80 percent in the last ten years, and use this cost decline to project even steeper cost declines in the future. However, this is a problematic assumption because the recent decrease is only partially due to improvements in the solar panels. The other reason the cost of solar panels fell is because China became a major producer of solar panels, lowering the cost of production. One reason why China became a major producer of solar panels is because it subsidizes many of its industries, including steel...

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