fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Alliant Energy to Close Iowa Nuclear Plant for More Wind. Bad for Ratepayers, Bad for the Environment

Alliant Energy, the electric company in Iowa that wants to increase electricity costs for its consumers by $240 per year to add more wind to their grid, now wants to shut down their existing nuclear plant, which produces electricity with no carbon dioxide emissions, so they can repower existing wind turbines add more wind. According to an article from S&P Global Platts: A spokesman for the Iowa utility subsidiary said Monday that Interstate Power and Light currently meets 25% of its customer demand in the state through an off-take agreement with NextEra Energy Resources, which owns the majority interest in the 615...

Continue reading

WindFail: Minnesota Wind Facilities Could Produce Less Electricity in 2019 Than In 2018

This is huge news. I was looking through some data from the Energy Information Administration's website and I stumbled upon this interesting graph which shows that electricity generation from wind in 2019 could be less than it was in 2018 (red line added for emphasis). As you can see, generation from wind power peaked in December of 2017 and has not reached anywhere close to that height in the following months. In fact, wind output was 24 percent lower in December of 2018 than in December of 2017. It is interesting to note that wind generation did increases by about 1.8 percent in...

Continue reading

Low-Cost Natural Gas Saves Thousands of Lives By Lowering Heating Bills

Natural gas is a powerful resources that is saving thousands of lives every single year. That's the conclusion of a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled "Inexpensive Heating Reduces Winter Mortality" The abstract of the paper states: This paper examines how the price of home heating affects mortality in the US. Exposure to cold is one reason that mortality peaks in winter, and a higher heating price increases exposure to cold by reducing heating use. It also raises energy bills, which could affect health by decreasing other health-promoting spending. Our empirical approach combines spatial variation in the...

Continue reading

Wind Turbine Landfill or Mass Grave? We Report, You Decide

Last week pictures surfaced of a landfill in Wyoming being filled with something you may not have imagined: wind turbine blades. It turns out that the fiberglass wind turbine blades are not recyclable, and the waste disposal site located near Casper, Wyoming will soon be the final resting place of more than 1,000 decommissioned wind turbine blades and motor housing units. According to the Cowboy State Daily: Each turbine blade will need between 30 and 44.8 cubic yards of landfill space, using a total of 448,000 cubic yards of the 2.6 million yards set aside for construction and demolition material. The components are made...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

St. Paul Green Party Mayoral Candidate’s Paper Straw Response to my PiPress Article Doesn’t Hold Up

Last week I had an opinion editorial in the St. Paul Pioneer Press discussing how Minnesota's foray into wind and solar has led to higher electricity costs for no measurable environmental benefits. This prompted Elizabeth Dickinson, the former Green Party mayoral candidate for St. Paul to write a letter accusing me of using cherry-picked data. However, upon further scrutiny, the logic she uses in her letter to the editor holds up as well as paper straws. This sort of accusation is commonplace, but it does not make it correct. I've posted her letter below with my own thoughts about the points made...

Continue reading

Midwestern Wind Turbines Were 3 Percent Useful Last Weekend

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. No matter what you did, it was probably more productive than the wind turbines in the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) territory, where the wind utilized just 3 percent of installed capacity, providing a mere 1 percent of the electricity available on the grid. But just because the wind wasn't blowing doesn't mean there was not a high demand for electricity. In fact, July and August are typically the months where electricity use in Minnesota is highest. Ironically, it is also when generation from wind is lowest. The chart below shows Energy Information Administration data for...

Continue reading

Isaac Orr: Minnesota’s High Electric Bills Will Continue to Rise Higher

This article originally appeared in today's Pioneer Press. The version below is the same text, but with graphics added. Xcel Energy recently unveiled its plan to prematurely retire its coal plants and replace them with billions of dollars’ worth of wind, solar, and most importantly, natural gas. Unfortunately, Xcel’s plan will constitute a large increase in electricity costs for Minnesota families, businesses and schools, and these costs would far exceed any potential environmental benefit. Many people may not realize that Minnesota residential electric bills reached a new all-time high in 2018. In fact, these bills exceeded $103 per month for the first time ever...

Continue reading

Navy Times: Coal is the Most Reliable Source of Electricity for Our Military

Yesterday I wrote about how oil, not wind and solar, is the most important source of energy for our military. Today I'd like to delve deeper into the electricity sector because having access to reliable electricity is incredibly important for our military, especially as technology continues to play a larger and larger role in keeping America safe. Renewable energy advocates sometimes argue that wind and solar make our country safer, but it is hard to imagine any way that intermittent, unreliable sources of electricity could meaningfully improve our national security in a way that coal, natural gas, and nuclear power cannot. The reason...

Continue reading

American Frackers, Not Wind and Solar, Increase Our National Security

America has the strongest military might in the world. We have 3,476 tactical aircraft, 760 attack helicopters, 637 unmanned drones, 157 bombers, 2,831 tanks, 93 cruisers, destroyers, and frigates, 10 aircraft carriers, 68 submarines, 31 amphibious ships, and probably more supply trucks than you can shake a stick at. The one thing these military vehicles have in common? They ain't running on wind and solar. They're running on oil. In fact, the United States military is the single-largest consumer of oil in the world, using more than 100 million barrels every single year. Fortunately, the oil used to keep America safe is...

Continue reading