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WindFail: Congestion on Transmission Lines Hinders New North Dakota Wind Farms

A recent story in the Bismark Tribune states that wind developers in North Dakota are thinking twice about building new industrial wind facilities in the state because there is no room on the transmission lines needed to transport the power to population centers like the Twin Cities. Wind and solar are often built further away from the areas that use the electricity, requiring a massive investment in transmission lines that routinely cost $1 million per mile. The cost of transmission is growing even more as many wind companies seek to build wind turbines in North Dakota and South Dakota, rather than Minnesota,...

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Three Must-Know Facts About Governor Walz’s Plan to Impose California Car Mandates on Minnesota

On Wednesday, Governor Walz announced that he would be using the bureaucratic rule making process to impose California’s rules for low and zero emissions vehicles (LEV and ZEV) on to Minnesota car buyers. While the Governor has tried to frame this as a win for consumer choice, Minnesota families, and the environment, the facts suggest that the Governor's proposed regulations are solution in search of a problem. Three facts you need to know about this proposal are: This is not about expanding consumer choice. It will mandate the sale of smaller, lighter cars that are not as safe as bigger, heavier...

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Washington Post Poll Shows Most People Unwilling to Pay $2 Per Month Tax to Fight Climate Change

While the climate strike and Greta Thunberg may have the limelight this week, the unwavering truth of climate and energy policy remains: people are unwilling to pay the costs associated with reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A recent poll from the Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation shows that support for reducing carbon dioxide emissions withers under the slightest bit of scrutiny. The poll shows people favor taxing the wealthy to pay for increasing electricity costs, which is pretty much par for the course on every issue, and raising taxes on energy, even if that leads to higher prices. However, when people are asked to...

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Wind Produced 4 Percent Less Electricity Through June 2019 than Through June 2018, Despite More Turbines Online

Wind generation through June of 2019 was actually 4 percent lower than through June of 2018, according to Energy Information Administration data. This decline in output comes even though there are more turbines in operation today than there were at this time in 2018. The year-over-year decline in 2019, to date, is due to lower wind production in January, February, March, and June, compared to 2018. The decline is likely due to a variety of factors including weather, turbine degradation, and possibly curtailment of wind facilities when the grid was constrained. Weather is the most likely culprit for lower wind output year-to-date...

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Fresh Energy Is Still Intentionally Misleading Minnesotans on Energy Issues: A Series

Earlier this summer Mitch Rolling and I wrote a multi-part series explaining how Fresh Energy's characterization of energy issues in Minnesota is intentionally misleading Minnesotans. This page serves as a table of contents for ease of use, and it will be updated as we expand the series into the future....

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Shellenberer: The Real Reason They Behave Hypocritically On Climate Change Is Because They Want To

Almost without fail, the loudest preachers of the climate doom are also the ones who are least likely to walk the walk. Michael Shellenberger nails it in this article, which was originally published in Forbes.  British Royal couple Prince Harry and Princess Meghan Markle triggered widespread outrage recently after lecturing the world about climate change while flying around the world in private jets. "With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference," the Duke of Sussex said on Instagram a few days before jetting off with the Duchess to Ibiza, Spain and then to Nice, France. BBC calculates that those two...

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There is No Holy Grail: Some Perspective on Battery Storage

Today I wanted to share this graphic I found on a pro-nuclear Facebook page that really hammers home the point: we simply require far too much energy for wind, solar, and battery storage to ever be a viable, reliable source of electricity. If the folks who claim that climate change is an "existential crisis" were actually serious about reducing carbon dioxide emissions they would legalize new nuclear power and allow the electricity generated by hydropower that we already buy from Canada to count toward our "carbon free" goals. Instead, the DFL-lead house said these two proposals were non-starters. There is simply no...

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WindFail: Minnesota Wind Facilities Could Produce Less Electricity in 2019 Than In 2018

This is huge news. I was looking through some data from the Energy Information Administration's website and I stumbled upon this interesting graph which shows that electricity generation from wind in 2019 could be less than it was in 2018 (red line added for emphasis). As you can see, generation from wind power peaked in December of 2017 and has not reached anywhere close to that height in the following months. In fact, wind output was 24 percent lower in December of 2018 than in December of 2017. It is interesting to note that wind generation did increases by about 1.8 percent in...

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