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Expiring Subsidies, Not Free Markets, Driving Minnesota Solar Growth

Renewable energy advocates often claim that business is booming for the solar industry in Minnesota, and this is true. However, in order to determine whether this is a good or bad thing for Minnesota residents, it is important to understand why this is the case. A recent article suggests the recent demand in solar development is happening because people want to cash in on the federal solar subsidies before the tax credits taper off over the next five years. According to an article in the Rochester Post Bulletin: "When Steve and Dawn Finnie opened Little Thistle Brewing Co., they had long-term plans...

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Xcel Energy CEO Made $26.2 Million in 2018 As Your Electric Bill Reached a New All-Time High

The Star Tribune recently ran a piece announcing that Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke was the third-highest paid CEO in Minnesota in 2018 with a total pay of $26.2 million for the year. This wouldn't necessarily be outrageous compensation if Xcel Energy were a private company competing for your businesses in a free market, but the fact that Xcel customers are literally forced by the government to buy their electricity from the  government-approved monopoly makes this level of compensation unconscionable. Why does the Xcel CEO get paid so much? According to the Star Tribune: "Fowke’s annual bonus is based on five factors: employee...

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What is the ‘Conservative Energy Network’ and Why is it Backed by Leftist Funders?

There is big money behind promoting wind and solar power. After all, the only reasons people build wind turbines and solar panels are because of government subsidies, state-level renewable energy mandates, and government-approved monopoly utility companies, like Xcel Energy, who build them because it allows them to increase their corporate profits. In essence, there would be zero market for wind and solar if the government were not involved, and this fact means that renewable energy companies are willing to spend massive amounts of money to influence public policy. It makes perfect sense, their very existence depends on government policies. Unfortunately,  some so-called...

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DFL Senator From Iron Range Signals He Won’t Support Carbon-Free Power Mandates At This Time

It's a great day for Minnesota families and businesses, as Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) stated that he believes that provisions of the House Energy and Jobs omnibus bill that would mandate that Minnesota derive 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 should be left out of the current budget negotiations and reconsidered at a later date. What makes this statement so remarkable is that it was completely unprompted. In fact, the discussion previous to his comments about increasing renewable energy mandates were about the Line 3 oil pipeline. After making an initial comment about the pipeline, Senator Simonson...

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Government Mandates, Not Free Markets, Responsible for Minnesota’s Solar Growth

Solar irradiance, the energy potential for solar, in Minnesota is among the lowest in the country. Despite the poor solar resources in Minnesota, our state had installed 882 MW of solar. In a free market, investors would seek to maximize their returns by investing in solar farms in states like Arizona and California. This strongly suggests the growth in solar in Minnesota is a product of government mandates and rate structures, not free markets. ...

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Star Tribune: Technology, Cost Could Hamper Efforts for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Grid in Minnesota by 2050

On April 20th, the Star Tribune ran a story entitled "Technology, Cost Could Hamper Efforts for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Grid in Minnesota by 2050." It was good to see the paper acknowledging that the policies proposed by Governor Walz and House DLF'ers will be expensive and the technology needed to attain this goal (without the use of nuclear and large hydro) does not exist. ...

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