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Doubling Down on Failure Installment Two: Generation, Utility Profits, Property Taxes, and Transmission

This article is the second installment explaining the findings of our new study entitled Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.   Today, I’ll break down four main components that drive the cost of our energy system that we explored in our study. As you can see below, generation accounted for 59 percent of the total cost of electricity in the Renewable Scenario, utility profits constituted 22 percent, property taxes accounted for 11 percent, and transmission accounted for 8 percent of the total cost of electricity....

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The Dirty Secret Behind “Clean Energy”

Renewable energy advocates often talk about wind and solar as "clean" energy resources, and talk about "dirty" fossil fuels, but how accurate is their assessment that renewables are actually clean? Not very. We've talked about the fact that wind solar, and batteries require massive amounts of copper, nickel, rare earth metals, lead, cadmium, and cobalt. Many times, these materials are mined in countries where there are few, if any, protections for the environment or workers. The Clear Energy Alliance has produced a very good video debunking the claims that fossil fuels are inherently dirty, and video shines a much-needed light on the...

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Doubling Down on Failure Installment 1: Comparing the Costs of Wind and Solar, Nuclear, and Coal

As you probably know by now, American Experiment has released a new study entitled Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.   The study is more than 80 pages, including appendices and citations, so I will be breaking down the key findings in more manageable bites on the website. Today, I'll break down the four main energy scenarios we examined and why we chose them....

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El Niño Has Caused a 14 Percent Drop in Wind Generation, Could Global Warming Render Wind Turbines Worthless?

Bloomberg reports that El Niño has caused electricity generation from wind turbines to plummet by approximately 14 percent in the Midwest this year. Apparently, it is quite common that wind turbine generation falls during El Niño years. This begs the question, could a warmer world render Minnesota's wind turbines worthless? ...

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Greta Thunberg, Student Protesters Should Demand Better Solutions to Climate Change

Kids around the country are skipping school to draw attention to climate change, but why don't these kids demand real solutions to a problem they find so severe they must skip school? Minnesota has it's own coalition of astroturf youth climate groups, iMatter, Climate Generation etc, but maybe these kids should read the article below rather than storming the capitol to support inefficient and unreliable wind and solar power. If these students are so concerned about climate change, why aren't they advocating for the legalization of new nuclear power plants in Minnesota? The following article was written by Bjorn Lomborg, and originally...

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American Experiment Releases Groundbreaking New Study on the High Cost of Renewable Energy Mandates in Minnesota

American Experiment is pleased to announce we are releasing a groundbreaking new study detailing the high cost renewable energy mandates in Minnesota. On the 2018 campaign trail, many DFL candidates, including Governor Tim Walz, said they would make obtaining 50 percent of Minnesota's electricity through renewable energy sources by 2030 a top priority in their policy platform. Now DFL'ers in Minnesota are pushing their own version of the Green New Deal, mandating that Minnesota must get 100 percent of its electricity from "carbon free" resources by 2050. Our study found that attempting to achieve a 50 percent renewable energy mandate would...

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Xcel Was Caught Short By Arctic Cold

The story below from the Star Tribune summarizes a meeting held yesterday at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which was held to determine how well Minnesota’s utility companies weathered the polar vortex that brought bitter cold temperatures to our state at the end of January. In short, it was not a good day for Xcel Energy....

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Grid Operators Confirm: Wind Didn’t Work During Polar Vortex

The energy world is buzzing today after the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) released a report stating the wind didn't show up to work during the polar vortex that swept Minnesota on January 29 and 30. Electricity output from wind plummeted due to low wind speeds and because it was "too cold" for the wind turbines to operate. That being said, why on Earth would DFL lawmakers in St. Paul propose legislation mandating more wind turbines? Here are a few choice excerpts from media outlets covering the story with some of my own commentary sprinkled in. From E&E News: "As residents of the Twin Cities awoke...

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Minnesota is Number One! In Expensive and Inefficient Community Solar Installations

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is celebrating the fact that our state has more inefficient, and incredibly expensive Community Solar installations, than any other state in the country. These installations are paid $125 to $135 per megawatt hour of electricity produced, which is four times more than the cost of electricity from coal-fired power plants and twice the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar. Only the Commerce Department, which opposes building Line 3 because it doesn't think our state will need oil in the future, could be so utterly clueless about energy....

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