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Bloomberg: California’s Next Electricity Headache Is a Looming Shortage

California is once again serving as a valuable example to the rest of the United States, but it is an example of what not to do. Despite California's plans to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it turns out the state actually needs to build a lot more natural gas in order to maintain a reliable power grid. Building these power plants will increase California electricity prices even more, but when compared to the cost of not having reliable electricity, it may not seem quite so bad. The article below is from Bloomberg: (Bloomberg) -- As if California doesn’t have enough problems with its...

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Windfail: Individual Wind Facilities Were Less Productive in 2018 than 2017 in Many Regions of the Country

Renewable energy advocates are seemingly always talking about how advances in technology will *finally* make wind and solar competitive with coal, nuclear, and natural gas without taxpayer subsidies. One of their arguments is that wind facilities are becoming more productive over time, generating more of their potential output, but recent data from Lawrence Berkeley Labs shows the productivity of wind turbines fell from 2017 to 2018 in many regions of the country, including Minnesota....

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Three Things Xcel Energy Doesn’t Want You to Know About Their Massive Increase in Electricity Prices

Xcel Energy recently announced its intention to impose a massive 15.2 percent increase in electricity prices in Minnesota over the course of three years to pay for a $466 million spending spree that will pay for wind turbines, transmission lines, distribution system and nuclear plant upgrades, higher corporate profits, and erase customer savings from energy efficiency. However, the 15.3 percent is just an average. In fact, the government-approved monopoly utility is seeking to raise residential electricity rates by 17.75 percent, representing a massive increase in electricity costs for Minnesota families. Here are three things Xcel Energy doesn't want you to know...

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Argus Leader: Sioux Falls Landfill Tightens Rules After Iowa Dumps Dozens of Wind Turbine Blades

Last week I wrote about how decommissioning wind turbines in Germany could cost hundreds of millions of Euros more than previously planned overwhelm Germany's capacity to dispose of non-recyclable wind turbine blades. Today, a reader brought it to my attention that local leaders in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have made changes that will prohibit wind companies from disposing of their turbine blades in the local landfill unless they take more steps to reduce the amount of landfill space these massive blades  consume. According to the Argus Leader: "Iowa wind-farms brought dozens of their old turbine blades to the Sioux Falls dump this...

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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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