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11 Ways Minnesota Families Are Subsidizing Solar

There is a pervasive fiction that solar is somehow lower cost than other sources of electricity and that this form of energy is competing on a level playing field with sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas. This notion is a complete fairy tale. Unfortunately, there are a host of renewable energy advocacy groups, some of them who pretend to be conservative, who further this notion and even contend that wind and solar are somehow at a disadvantage relative to more reliable forms of energy due to government intervention. Nothing could be further than the truth. Solar and wind have all...

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Walz Administration Couldn’t Be More Wrong About Nuclear Power

At a recent press conference, Gov. Tim Walz's administration suggested the economics of nuclear power likely make it too expensive to be part of his plan to produce 100% of Minnesota’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Instead, the administration argued technological improvements would allow wind and solar to reliably and affordably meet Minnesota’s energy needs. Unfortunately, the Walz administration couldn’t be more wrong on either account....

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Refuting “Local View: Minnesota Must Aggressively Move to Less-Costly Renewables”

My piece in the Duluth News Tribune detailing how a 50 percent renewable energy mandate would harm the mining industry has generated quite the controversy, with at least three counterpoints from renewable energy special interest groups. Today, I'm refuting a member of the Citizen's Climate Lobby....

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One Korean Nuclear Reactor Would Produce As Much Electricity As All Minnesota Wind Turbines at a Much Lower Cost

Last week, Korean Electric Power (KEPCO) connected its second advanced pressure reactor (APR) 1400 nuclear reactor to the grid. This is significant because these power plants, with a generation capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW), would be able to generate about as much electricity as the combined output of all the wind facilities in Minnesota, for a fraction of the cost. Nuclear power plants are incredibly efficient, with capacity factors of 90 percent or higher. This means nuclear plants will generate about 90 percent of their theoretical output during the course of a year. As a result, building just one APR1400 reactor...

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The Case for a Green ‘No Deal’

Those who advocate for Minnesota's "Green New Deal" are not the adults in the room. How can one credibly claim that global warming is an "existential crisis,"  yet refuse to utilize the most reliable, affordable, and scaleable sources of carbon-dioxide free electricity available? I submit that they cannot. But do we need to make a Green New Deal at all? The following article argues that we do not....

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MN Commerce Department Commissioner Kelly Tips His Hand: “Carbon Free” Still Means No New Nuclear

If Governor Walz really believes that climate change is an existential threat, why would he refuse to legalize the most reliable, affordable, and permanent source of electricity that does not emit carbon dioxide emissions? The fact that is not even willing to advocate for repealing Minnesota's ban on new nuclear power plants that has been in effect since 1994 means Governor Walz is not the adult in the room, no matter how me may try to position himself as the realist on environmental issues. ...

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Isaac Orr: Lower Electricity Costs From Going Carbon-Free? Wanna Bet, Gov. Walz?

The following article originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press: Gov. Tim Walz recently announced his plan to make Minnesota’s electricity 100 percent carbon-free by 2050, and while the governor claims his plan will reduce energy costs for Minnesota families due to improvements in energy efficiency, I could not disagree more with his assessment. Therefore, I am willing to bet the governor a month’s salary that his claim is incorrect and that electricity costs will skyrocket under his plan. Increasing quantities of renewable energy result in increasing electricity prices because they are more expensive than conventional sources of electricity, like coal....

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Doubling Down on Failure Installment Four: Renewable Energy Fails Cost/Benefit Analysis Using Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Social Cost of Carbon

This article is the fourth 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. This installment explains how the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions under the Renewable, Short-Term Nuclear, and Long-Term Nuclear would exceed the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) established by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) scenario, is the only scenario that passes this cost-benefit analysis. This post is pretty in the weeds, so the main takeaway is that the costs of reducing our carbon dioxide emissions...

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Assessing the Fourth “National Assessment” of Climate Change

Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute is brilliant on the climate change issue. If you are interested in this topic and haven't read his book, Lukewarming, I highly suggest you pick it up. Michaels recently wrote a blog about the highly publicized, but little scrutinized Climate Assessment that has been making headlines here in Minnesota. The blog post is below and he provides links to his extensive comments. The 1990 Global Change Research Act requires quadrennial  “Assessments” of the effects of global climate change on the U.S. The first was published in 2000, the second in 2009 (the G.W. Bush Administration chose to...

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