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Green New Delusion Would Require Lots of Mining, But Will Walz Allow it in MN?

The Green New Deal (GND) has become the talk of the down despite the fact that Ernie Moniz, the head of the Department of Energy under the Obama administration, has called the deal impractical. However, renewable energy advocates are pressuring lawmakers in St. Paul to push ahead with their own GND for Minnesota, but the question remains, where will the copper, nickel, cobalt, and manganese come from? An article from Geologyforinvestors.com suggests there will be as many as 125 million electric cars on the road within the next decade, which may be overly optimistic, but we'll see. The more important point...

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American Experiment Testifies on Bill to Increase Renewable Energy Mandate

On Tuesday, I was in St. Paul to testify on House File 700, which would increase Minnesota's renewable energy mandate to 55 percent renewable by 2030, and 80 percent renewable by 2035. I was one of three testifiers who told the committee that this bill is a bad idea. You can watch my brief, two minute testimony below. American Experiment will soon release a report on the economic and environmental impacts of doubling Minnesota's current renewable energy mandate to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. I share some of the top-line findings of the study with the committee, and although it...

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Nuclear Is Less Costly Than You Think

The following article originally appeared in the Financial Times: Does it make any sense to build nuclear plants in Britain? Not obviously, unless you are an atomic evangelist. In recent months, half the participants in the country’s once-vaunted “nuclear renaissance” have packed their bags and departed. First Toshiba and then Hitachi dropped reactor projects, each citing their inability to get finance on terms that would deliver power to consumers at acceptable cost. Critics point to the widening gap between the strike prices demanded by nuclear and renewable investors, highlighting the new low of £57.50 per megawatt hour for two UK offshore wind...

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Bitter Cold Shows Reliable Energy Sources Are Critical

The Star Tribune has published an opinion piece I wrote on how Minnesota's bitter cold should be a wake-up call for energy policy in our state. Instead of mandating the use of wind and solar, which generated just 24 percent of its installed capacity, and provided just four percent of MISO's electricity, we must maintain and keep reliable electricity sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants running. You can read the article by clicking here....

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Wind Power Engineering and Development: Why Wind-Turbine Gearboxes Fail to Hit the 20-year Mark

The short, 20-year lifespan of wind turbines is one of the most important, but least talked about facets, aspects of energy policy. American Experiment has written about this topic several times, but as I was researching further I found this interesting article from Wind Power Engineering and Development which states wind turbine gearboxes fail to reach even this milestone. As utility-scale wind turbines have developed from the kilowatt-class to the multi-megawatt machines installed today, the components inside a nacelle have also evolved to keep up with new power demands. Drivetrains, in particular, have had to change significantly to meet stronger, more variable wind loads...

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It’s Negative 24 Degrees and the Wind Isn’t Blowing. This is Why We Need Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power, Not Renewables

Good morning, everyone! I hope you're staying warm. If you are, it's because of natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear power, or even wood, because the wind isn't blowing right now. The screenshot below is from Electricity Map. It's a fun app that tells you how your electricity is being generated at any given moment in time.  Turns out wind is  producing only four percent of electricity in the MISO region, of which Minnesota is a part. While that's not good, what's worse is wind is only utilizing 24 percent of it's installed capacity, and who knows how this will fluctuate throughout the course of the...

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EIA Data: Wind Replaced Natural Gas, Not Coal in 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released its electricity data for Minnesota in 2017, and boy, were there some interesting findings. One of those interesting findings is that contrary to the popular narrative that by building wind turbines, we will make Minnesota less dependent upon coal-burning power plants. The graph below shows the annualized capacity factor for each generation source in 2017. I've used this graph in recent blog posts but this merits its own 15 minutes of fame in this post. The capacity factor for coal was 61 percent, much larger than the capacity factor for wind at 35.9 percent,...

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Minnesota Utilities Spur Wind Turbine Building Boom…In North and South Dakota

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota claimed that mandating the use of wind for electricity generation would produce a boom in jobs and generate local tax revenue for rural Minnesota, but many of the large industrial wind facilities planned by the state's major utility companies are in North and South Dakota, sending these jobs and revenues out of state....

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