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Future of Wind “Uncertain” After Federal Subsidies Expire

Wind power capacity in the United States continued to experience strong growth in 2017. Recent and near-term additions are supported by the industry’s primary federal incentive—the production tax credit (PTC)—as well as a myriad of state-level policies." So much for "Free market" renewable energy, eh?...

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Trump Administration Releases Revised Clean Power Plan

The Trump Administration has released its revised version of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which was considered to be the signature climate change regulation of the Obama Administration. The new rule, called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, would give individual states more authority to make their own plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants rather than imposing a set of top-down policies from the federal government. The CPP was designed to fundamentally transform electricity markets by forcing coal plants to retire and require the use of wind and solar to replace. As we've already seen in Minnesota, this comes...

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City of Minneapolis Opposes Clean, Emission-Free Hydroelectric Power In Their Backyard

It turns out maybe the City of Minneapolis isn't as gung-ho about renewable energy when the proposed project is in their own backyard.  Crown Hydro LLC, a hydroelectric company, wants to build a powerhouse beside the St. Anthony Falls and a tunnel running beneath the historic Stone Arch Bridge, but this plan is opposed by the city, its Park Board, and an array of advocacy groups focused on the river. ...

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Gov Primary Recap: What Do Tuesday’s Results Mean for Energy and Environmental Policy?

Elections have consequences, and this axiom is true in primary elections, as well the general election to be held in November. Now that the dust has settled, it's a good time to look and see how the two major-party candidates for governor stack up on energy and environmental issues....

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Kudos to Crow Wing Power For Their Truth in Billing

I admire Crow Wing Power because they shoot straight on the true cost of wind power on their website. Other power providers should follow suit and put the true cost of renewables (including the cost of renewables and duplicate generators) as a line item cost on customers' utility bills. Truth in Billing and opt-ins' for renewable energy programs would allow people to decide for themselves whether they deem the additional cost of renewable energy as a worthwhile choice, or whether they prioritize lower rates....

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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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