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Wind and Solar Developers Want To Force You To Pay Their Transmission Costs

Wind and solar energy are closer to going away entirely than they are to being the future of energy. Here in the Midwest, hundreds of wind and solar installations, representing thousands of megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, have been cancelled because their developers didn't want to foot the bill for the transmission upgrades that would be necessary to bring these projects online. According to an article in Midwest Energy News, which is run by Fresh Energy, wind and solar projects are not financially viable unless the costs for transmission upgrades are saddled on to customers like you. "In all, 245 clean energy...

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U.S. Approves First Small Commercial Nuclear Reactor

The future of nuclear power looks a little brighter now that U.S. officials have approved a design for a small commercial nuclear reactor for the first time in the nation's history. According to the Associated Press: "The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday approved Portland-based NuScale Power’s application for the small modular reactor that Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans to build at a U.S. Department of Energy site in eastern Idaho. "The small reactors can produce about 60 megawatts of energy, or enough to power more than 50,000 homes. The proposed project includes 12 small modular reactors. The first would be...

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California is Still Struggling to Keep the Lights On

In Mid-August, more than two million California families and businesses lost their electricity during a record-breaking heat wave because the sun was setting, rending The Golden State's fleet of solar panels unable to generate electricity. Decades of bad energy policy had left the state with too few sources of reliable electricity. Blackouts, or rather "greenouts," ensued. Since that time, there have not been more blackouts, but there have been several very close calls, including over Labor Day weekend. Last weekend again brought scorching temperatures to the Southwest, and the California grid operator, the California Independent Systems Operator, pleaded with residents to voluntarily...

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Solar Panels Are Starting to Die. What Will We Do With The Megatons Of Toxic Trash?

Most people seem to believe that wind and solar panels produce no waste and have no negative environmental impacts. Unfortunately, these people are wrong. In reality, everything that humans do has an environmental impact, whether it be mining, using a coal-fired power plant, or even tourism. When it comes to energy and environmental policy, the real question to ask is not "will there be an impact?" but rather, "can the impacts be minimized?" and "do the benefits outweigh the costs?" Because everything has an effect on the environment, it is important that everyone understands the impacts of all energy sources so we...

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Xcel Should Skip the Solar and Wind and Plan for A Nuclear Future

Last weekend the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an article entitled Xcel Looks At New Nuclear Options As it Moves to Carbon-Free Power Goals. The article explains that nuclear energy is critical to Xcel Energy's carbon free energy plans and the role that newer nuclear reactors could play in their energy portfolio. It is very telling that Xcel wants to build new nuclear power plants because according to a recent filing with Minnesota regulators, the company clearly knows that building a grid to operate on high levels of wind and solar penetration is a recipe for the kind of blackouts that recently affected 2...

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Michael Shellenberger: Democrats Say California Is Model For Climate Action But Its Blackouts Say Otherwise

California is giving America a preview of the Green New Deal. Millions of families have had their power shut off because of the bad decisions made by politicians. These politicians set up the dominoes leading to the blackouts for decades by shutting down reliable forms of electricity like coal, nuclear, and natural gas, and believing in the fairy tale that wind and solar power would be able to get the job done when the chips were down. We are seeing in real time that they cannot. Michael Shellenberger writes about how Joe Biden's climate plan would usher in an energy system...

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Michael Shellenberger Triggers House Democrats By Speaking the Truth About Wind and Solar

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Micheal Shellenberger, a man who has spent thirty years of his life as an environmental activist, testified in front of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. He was invited to testify because in 2009, he championed the renewable energy policies of the Obama administration, but since that time Mr. Shellenberger has realized that wind and solar cannot power our society for purely physical reasons. I'd encourage you to watch his testimony in the video below, and read his account of the testimony, which I have copied below. https://youtu.be/P-zuaH2Jkmc?t=1625 Mr. Shellenberger wrote the following piece describing his...

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How Long Can You Power a Light Bulb With Two Pounds of Fuel?

One of the most important concepts in energy policy is understanding energy density, or how much energy can be extracted from a certain quantity of fuel. Solar and wind power are the least energy dense sources of power. They require huge amounts of land to produce small amounts of energy. Wood, or biomass, is more dense than wind or solar, coal is more energy dense than wood, oil is more energy dense than coal, and uranium puts all of these other sources to shame. This is why wind and solar are the energy past, fossil fuels are the energy present, and...

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Biden’s New Energy Plan Is Terrible

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden released his updated plan for energy, which calls for expanding renewable energy mandates to meet a 100 percent carbon-free electric grid by 2035, spending billions of dollars on wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage, an ill-conceived plan to make the entire fleet of school buses electric, a dedication to money-losing energy efficiency projects, subsidizing electric vehicles (EVs), and using taxpayer dollars to build EV charging stations. A child's Christmas list to Santa Claus is more realistic than this plan, but it is necessary for us to take a look at...

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A Conservative Vision for Energy Policy in Minnesota

Last week, Ben Gerber, who is a board member for the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MNCEF) took to the pages of The Minnesota Reformer, which is likely the most progressive outlet in the state, in an attempt to defend his positions on energy policy. In his article, which I encourage you to read, Mr. Gerber argues that MNCEF, and not Center of the American Experiment, is the group that opposes heavy-handed government solutions. But this claim is incorrect, as I spell out in my reply below. I am told may be run on the Reformer's website at some date in the future. The...

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