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Sunday Funnies: Deicing Wind Turbines with Helicopters

One thing renewable energy advocates almost never talk about is that it is impossible to build a wind turbine without fossil fuels. Diesel fuel is used by mining trucks, freighters, and trains, coal is used in the steel making process, and diesel-powered cranes put the turbines up. Another thing I hadn't thought of before is the use of helicopters to deice wind turbines. It must be above -20 F in this picture, otherwise they'd shut down the whole wind turbine! ...

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NREL Data: There’s Virtually No Demand for Voluntary Renewable Energy Programs

I often hear that there is a massive demand for wind and solar power among utility customers, but if this were true, one would expect participation in programs like Xcel Energy's Windsource and Renewable Connect to be off the charts. However, according to data compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), almost no one enrolls in these voluntary programs. For example, NREL data show Xcel Energy sold 424,589 megawatt hours (MWh) of voluntary renewable energy in 2017. That may sound like a lot, but it accounts for just 1.39 percent of all the electricity Xcel sells in Minnesota. When you consider the fact that Xcel Energy...

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High Electricity Prices Killed More Than 1,280 People in Japan After The Government Foolishly Shuttered All Nuclear Facilities Following Fukushima

High electricity prices are deadly. That's the conclusion reached by a new paper produced by the National Bureau Of Economic Research (NBER), which investigated the relationship between electricity prices and mortality after the Japanese government's decision to shut down all of its nuclear power plants following the Fukushima meltdown in March of 2011. According to NBER, shutting these plants down came at enormous costs, both economic and human. The paper reads: "To meet electricity demands, the reduction in nuclear energy production was offset by increased importation of fossil fuels, which increased the price of electricity by as much as 38 percent in some...

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Mass Decommissioning of German Wind Turbines Could Cost Hundreds of Millions of Euro More than Planned, Overwhelm Disposal Capacity

Germany is often lauded as an example that Minnesota should follow by renewable energy supporters, but it turns out Minnesota isn't the only part of the world that may have an expensive tab to pick up once their wind turbines reach the end of their 20 year useful lifetime. A new study from the German Federal Environmental Agency has found that the expected dismantling of thousands of old wind turbines in Germany could overburden the country's recycling capacities and lead to financial difficulties for the turbines' operators as reserves set aside might have been calculated too low, according to Clean Energy...

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Video: Walz’s Plan to Force California Car Standards in Minnesota Rear Ends Consumers

I've written about why Governor Walz's plan to impose California's fuel economy standards on Minnesota is not a good idea, namely because it will increase costs, reduce safety, and result in zero measurable environmental benefits. Thankfully, the Trump Administration is currently moving to end California's ability to effectively set fuel economy standards for the rest of the country. Alpha News does a good job of summarizing these points in the video below. Enjoy! I'm hoping to have a final confirmation in Xcel's massive electricity rate hike tomorrow. Stay tuned. https://youtu.be/_scZWW9HoPk  ...

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Forget Greenland — Trump Should Offer Statehood to These Canadian Provinces

The news broke last Friday that Xcel Energy is proposing a massive 15.2 percent increase in their electricity prices to cover the company's desire to spend $466 million over the next three years. I will be writing about this price hike later this week, but am currently waiting on emails back from the company to make sure my ducks are all in a row. In the meantime, please enjoy the article I wrote with Jason Hayes in The Hill. President Trump’s offer to purchase Greenland from Denmark was front-page news in August, but a better option for expanding the country’s geographic footprint would be to...

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Center of the American Experiment wins awards for research and advocacy with nationwide impact

Center of the American Experiment announced its work was recognized with two major awards, highlighting the nationwide impact of its research and advocacy. The awards were presented last week at State Policy Network’s annual gathering of over 150 independent state policy organizations with over 1,300 attendees in Colorado Springs. The Bob Williams Award for Most Influential Research was awarded to the original research report “Doubling down on failure: How a 50% by 2030 renewable energy standard would cost Minnesota $80.2 billion.” The report concluded that a proposed renewable energy mandate would significantly increase the cost of energy and destroy jobs but have no measurable...

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Forbes: California Utility Spent $44 Billion on Renewables, $1.5 Billion on Fire Prevention

California is incurring yet another round of blackouts to try and prevent strong winds from causing power lines to break and starting fires. The result is approximately 318,000 California customers in the dark. While renewable energy and climate change activists attempt to pin the blame on the lack of action by the Trump Administration, there is a much simpler answer for the current problems. California laws restricting the timer industry have greatly increased the amount of fuel available to burn. The state spent $44 billion on power purchase agreements with renewable providers but only 1.5 billion on maintenance expenses in 2017. It is not...

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Xcel Energy Sponsors Gala for Anti-Mining, Anti-Farming, Pro-Wind and Solar Green Group To Help Them Pad Their Profits

Minnesota families saw their electricity bills reach a new all-time high in 2018 due to an increasing reliance on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power. Despite the fact that Minnesota is already on track to meet current renewable energy mandates, Xcel Energy wants exceed these regulations by building 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, a massive amount, and shutting down their existing coal plants, which produce some of the lowest cost electricity in the state. It appears Xcel is enlisting the help of the Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to help gain public approval for this plan by...

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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