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Grid Operator Study Shows Complexity of Integrating Renewables Increases Exponentially After 30 Percent

The grid operator for the region including Minnesota, the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), recently released it's study examining the complexity of integrating renewable energy onto the grid. The findings show that it becomes exponentially more difficult to integrate renewable energy into the regional grid as the amount of renewable energy increases beyond 30 percent, as you can see in the graph below. This is important, because it clearly shows that the challenges of integrating intermittent renewable energy sources like wind are not, in fact, overblown, as the Star Tribune editorial board argued earlier this year. In reality, these challenges have...

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Thank You! American Experiment Readers Accounted for 13 Percent of California Car Mandate Comments!

About a month ago I posted an article asking our readers to submit comments to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) opposing the Walz administration's attempt to foist California's car mandates on Minnesotans, and boy, did you ever deliver. According to an article written on DeSmogBlog, a site that attempts to smear anyone who advocates for sane energy policy, you all had a major impact on the public comment period. According to the article: "As Minnesota begins the rulemaking process to adopt a pair of clean car standards, citizens and organizations weighed in with their comments and concerns, through an official Request for Comments portal. A...

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Production at Nobles Wind Facility Continues to Plummet

Earlier this year, I wrote about how the Nobles Wind project, which is the third-largest wind facility in Minnesota, is already losing steam. The most recent data from the Energy Information Administration (which runs through September) show that 2019 hasn't been kind to the project, either. Thus far, the Nobles wind project has a capacity factor of just 33.9, which is far below where it has been in previous years, according to the table below. In fact, the capacity factor (a measure of productivity) of this wind facility is about 10 percent lower this year compared to 2014. This has important implications...

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I’ll See You in Kiester Tonight!

Tonight I will be in Kiester, Minnesota to talk about the high cost of wind and solar power as part of Center of the American Experiment's continued mission to reach the people of Greater Minnesota with free market ideas. I'll be presenting to a group of citizens who are concerned about the costs of wind turbines and transmission lines being built in their area and discussing the findings of our award winning research Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion. With high-pressure land acquisition specialists circling the area, it has never...

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Governor Walz’s California Car Mandates Will Have No Meaningful Impact on Pollution

In September, the Walz Administration announced its intention to force Minnesotans to comply with low-emissions vehicle (LEV) and ‘zero’-emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations developed by unelected bureaucrats on the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Instead of asking the legislature to approve this move, Governor Walz wants to impose these regulations by using the rule-making process of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Yesterday, I wrote about the implications these regulations would have on low-income and minority communities. While proponents of this rule argue it will reduce air pollution, Minnesota's air is already clean, and imposing these regulations will simply add extra cost while still...

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China is Building 34 Times More Coal Than Exists In Minnesota, So Why Are We Raising Our Power Prices?

According to an article in The Financial Times, China is set to add new coal-fired power plants equivalent to the EU’s entire capacity. as the world’s biggest energy consumer ignores global pressure to rein in carbon emissions in its bid to boost a slowing economy. The article states that China is building 148 gigawatts, or 148,000 megawatts, of coal. For context, Minnesota has 4,309 MW of coal, meaning China will build 34 times more coal-fired power plants in the coming years than currently exist in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In fact, these coal additions mean will nearly eclipse the entire...

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More Minnesota Mining! Talon Metals Seeks More Exploration on the Tamarack Deposit

Minnesota is home to some of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper and nickel in the world. Responsibly developing these resource would bring a major boost to Minnesota's economy, supporting up to 14,850 jobs and reduce America's reliance on foreign countries to supply the metals and minerals we rely upon every single day. Mining in Minnesota would also be a way to increase the supply of ethically mined minerals, reducing the demand for metals mined by children in foreign countries. One of the deposits we included in our 2018 study Unearthing Prosperity  was the Tamarack deposit, a copper-nickel rich deposit near the...

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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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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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