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Cloudy With a Chance of Blackouts: Island-Wide Outage on Kaua’i, Clouds Block Solar Recovery After Generator’s Cable Failure

Looks like adding solar to the grid isn't helping in Hawaii, after a blackout caused by a severed electric cable caused the natural gas generator to go offline. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, 10,000 Kauai residents from Kekaha to Princeville dealt with rolling electric outages between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and utility officials asked everyone to reduce energy use after Sunday’s islandwide power outage. "Rolling blackouts were needed Sunday and today because other electricity-generating units were out of service for either repair or scheduled maintenance, officials said. Electricity customers experienced 30-minute outages every three to four hours during the rolling...

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Xcel Energy CEO Made $26.2 Million in 2018 As Your Electric Bill Reached a New All-Time High

The Star Tribune recently ran a piece announcing that Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke was the third-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2018 with a total pay of $26.2 million for the year. This wouldn't necessarily be outrageous compensation if Xcel Energy were a private company competing for your businesses in a free market, but the fact that Xcel customers are literally forced by the government to buy their electricity from the  government-approved monopoly makes this level of compensation unconscionable. Why does the Xcel CEO get paid so much? According to the Star Tribune: "Fowke’s annual bonus is based on five factors: employee...

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11 Ways Minnesota Families Are Subsidizing Solar

There is a pervasive fiction that solar is somehow lower cost than other sources of electricity and that this form of energy is competing on a level playing field with sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas. This notion is a complete fairy tale. Unfortunately, there are a host of renewable energy advocacy groups, some of them who pretend to be conservative, who further this notion and even contend that wind and solar are somehow at a disadvantage relative to more reliable forms of energy due to government intervention. Nothing could be further than the truth. Solar and wind have all...

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What is the ‘Conservative Energy Network’ and Why is it Backed by Leftist Funders?

There is big money behind promoting wind and solar power. After all, the only reasons people build wind turbines and solar panels are because of government subsidies, state-level renewable energy mandates, and government-approved monopoly utility companies, like Xcel Energy, who build them because it allows them to increase their corporate profits. In essence, there would be zero market for wind and solar if the government were not involved, and this fact means that renewable energy companies are willing to spend massive amounts of money to influence public policy. It makes perfect sense, their very existence depends on government policies. Unfortunately,  some so-called...

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Rebuking Renewables: Le Sueur County Places Moratorium on Solar Gardens and Solar Farms

It looks like the Community Solar Gardens aren't very popular with the locals  in Le Sueur County. Earlier in July, the Planning and Zone commission voted to enact a moratorium, or temporary suspension, on new solar facilities. The moratorium, which will ban applications for new solar projects for one year, comes at a time when solar facilities are being cited closer to city limits and residential properties. According to KEYC in Mankato: “Separation distances from residential properties is one thing that people are very concerned about. They don’t want to have these panels 50 feet from their house, and by taking this...

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Sierra Club: Stop Obsessing About Recycling

The Sierra Club recently published an article that will surely make waves. The crux of the argument is that recycling doesn't always make sense, and often times it is better for the environment to throw items in a landfill than it is to recycle them. Rather than maximizing recycling, we should be optimizing it, recycling items that make economic and ecological sense and landfilling items that don't. It's almost as if we should allow private companies and businesses, operating in a market, to decide which materials should be repurposed for other uses, rather than having government-run recycling initiatives that are not responsive...

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They Thought Battery Storage Would Be Cost Competitive With Natural Gas By 2014: 6 Years Later It’s Still Not True

In 2013, Steve Hellman, president of the battery storage company, Eos Energy, made a startling prediction about the cost of the company's then-new zinc-air battery system. The following is from Green Tech Media more than six years ago: The cost of battery storage is falling more rapidly than most analysts forecasted and could be competitive with gas-fired generation -- even in the U.S., where gas prices are low -- within the next eighteen months. That’s the prediction of Steve Hellman, the president of battery storage startup Eos Energy Storage, which intends to launch its zinc-air battery next year with a price of $200...

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Capitalism is Saving the Planet Part 2: In Soviet Russia, Air Pollutes You

We are often told that capitalism is destroying the planet, and that the only way we can repent from causing environmental degradation is to switch from a capitalist system to a socialist system. This thought process, however, could not be more wrong. Today we are going to talk about air quality in the United States, versus some other countries that have adopted more command and control economic systems. Russia/Soviet Union If command and control economies are cleaner because capitalism incentivizes pollution, then we should be able to look at examples of countries that were less capitalistic, or even hostile to capitalism, and see...

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Indiana Utility Regulators Deny New Natural Gas Facility To Replace Coal: The Reason Why May Surprise You

This is a great testament to the importance of reading past a headline. Upon first glance at this article from The Associated Press, “Indiana regulators reject Vectren plan for gas power plant,” I cringed. Vectren South, a small utility company in Indiana, sought a new 850 megawatt (MW), $781 million gas plant in preparation for environmental policies that, the utility says, will eventually force the closure of its coal plants. “Here we go again,” I thought. “Another utility board that thinks intermittent renewable energy is capable of replacing coal generation.” However, after further reading of the article and the document in which the new...

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