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Bloomberg: Lack of Wind Causes Texas Electricity Prices to Skyrocket 40,000%

You know its bad when Bloomberg, which almost always treats renewables with kid gloves, comes out with a piece that is one of the most devastating critiques of the unreliable nature of wind and solar that I have ever seen, but that is exactly what happened recently. The article, published on August 26th, details how Texas, which has more wind turbines than any other state, is suffering the consequences of building so much wind power: "The road to a world powered by renewable energy is littered with unintended consequences. Like a 40,000% surge in electricity prices. Texas power prices jumped from less than $15 to...

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Elizabeth Warren Brings Her Campaign Against Reality to Minnesota

Elizabeth Warren visited Minnesota last week to hold a campaign rally in her bid  to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. At the rally, Warren waded into two highly controversial environmental debates in Minnesota by opposing the replacement of the Line 3 oil pipeline, and voicing her opposition to the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, which would develop the massive reserves of copper, nickel, and other metals like platinum, palladium, and cobalt in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, the policies proposed by Senator Warren represent a continuation of her campaign against reality. Line 3 Minnesotans use a lot of oil. In fact, U.S. Energy Information...

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Wind Power Is Collapsing In Germany, Does Lt. Governor Flanagan Know?

This summer, a delegation of Minnesota lawmakers, including Lt. Governor Flanagan and Senator Dave Senjem, traveled to  Germany (burning a lot of CO2 in the process) to learn about the country's renewable energy system. Do you think they learned how wind power is collapsing in Germany? I sincerely doubt it, but they should have because Germany is a role model of what not to do.  The article below, originally published by the Institute for Energy Research, discusses how wind installations in Germany have plummeted by 82 percent due to local opposition and wind's inability to compete on a level playing field with other...

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Minnesota Wind Generated More Electricity Than Coal in April 2019, But That’s Not Really Relevant

Renewable energy advocates in Minnesota will probably celebrate the fact that wind power produced more electricity than coal-fired power plants in April of this year (if they haven't already). This is true, as you can see in the graph below, but it is also irrelevant. When this phenomenon is viewed in the context of electricity demand, as well as supply, it paints a very different picture. The graph below shows total electricity generation in Minnesota, along with the generation from coal and wind, dating back to January of 2018. Coal generation fell in April of 2018 and 2019 because April is one...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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