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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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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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Dear Governor Walz, Please Don’t Turn Minnesota Into California

When it comes to energy policy, California should be an example of what not to do. Unfortunately, Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz, seems intent on following many of the same mistakes that have been made in the Golden State. Among these mistakes is his attempt to mandate the use of more wind and solar on the electric grid, attempting to raise the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon in an effort to get people to drive less or purchase smaller cars, and trying to use the bureaucratic rule-making process to force Minnesota to comply with California Car Zero (ZEV) Emission Vehicle and Low...

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Fudging The Numbers: Why Wind and Solar Cost Estimates from Bloomberg New Energy Finance are Almost Certainly Wrong

In March of 2019, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released a public “fact sheet” alleging the cost of electricity generated by wind and solar in Minnesota had reached new record lows, but there is a problem; BNEF refuses to share the assumptions and methodology used to calculate their cost estimates with the public. This begs the question, what are they hiding? Probably a lot. BNEF estimated the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind and solar to be $38 and $60 per megawatt hour, respectively. In contrast, a study by Center of the American Experiment found the cost of new, unsubsidized...

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