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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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Center of the American Experiment wins awards for research and advocacy with nationwide impact

Center of the American Experiment announced its work was recognized with two major awards, highlighting the nationwide impact of its research and advocacy. The awards were presented last week at State Policy Network’s annual gathering of over 150 independent state policy organizations with over 1,300 attendees in Colorado Springs. The Bob Williams Award for Most Influential Research was awarded to the original research report “Doubling down on failure: How a 50% by 2030 renewable energy standard would cost Minnesota $80.2 billion.” The report concluded that a proposed renewable energy mandate would significantly increase the cost of energy and destroy jobs but have no measurable...

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Xcel Energy Sponsors Gala for Anti-Mining, Anti-Farming, Pro-Wind and Solar Green Group To Help Them Pad Their Profits

Minnesota families saw their electricity bills reach a new all-time high in 2018 due to an increasing reliance on expensive and unreliable wind and solar power. Despite the fact that Minnesota is already on track to meet current renewable energy mandates, Xcel Energy wants exceed these regulations by building 3,000 to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar, a massive amount, and shutting down their existing coal plants, which produce some of the lowest cost electricity in the state. It appears Xcel is enlisting the help of the Minnesota Center For Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) to help gain public approval for this plan by...

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Good News on Polymet! Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules Environmental Groups Can’t Move the Goalposts

There is good news on the Minnesota mining front, as the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge by anti-mining groups seeking to invalidate Minnesota's rules for non-ferrous mining. This is a big deal, because anti-mining groups, including the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, were trying to overturn the entire regulatory framework for how Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources evaluates and regulates mines that produce copper, nickel, platinum, cobalt, and other metals we depend upon every single day. Had this challenge succeeded, it would have been a massive blow to Minnesota's economic future, and a loss for the environment, as well. Minnesota...

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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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Groups Dispute Cost of Renewable Energies

Last week I gave a talk in St. Cloud Minnesota about the findings of our report, Doubling Down on Failure, as part of our Morning in Minnesota Breakfast series to about 50 people who were eager to learn more about why their electricity bills keep rising. I was pleasantly surprised that the St. Cloud Times sent a reporter to listen to my talk, and they published the following article about my presentation: ST. CLOUD — What does it cost to switch to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power? Isaac Orr, a policy fellow with the Center of the American Experment, looked into the...

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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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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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