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The Folly of Solar Energy


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John Hinderaker

March 4, 2019

The late January brownout in central Minnesota, during a time of Arctic cold, showed that reliance on “green” energy can be life-threatening. Xcel Energy instructed customers to turn thermostats down to 60 degrees and refrain from using hot water. Xcel went so far as to put some customers up in hotels.

Investigation of the brownout has been informative. The principal problem, given that Minnesota has invested massively in wind energy, was that the wind wasn’t blowing. But there was another problem, too, which came out in testimony before the state’s Public Utilities Commission by an Xcel official. My colleague Isaac Orr explains:

Quote

During their testimony, Xcel Energy representatives stated that the company’s solar panels only produced 8 to 10 percent of their potential output because of snow cover.

(Snip)

I suspect that is exactly right. Utilities know that solar energy is a joke. So, why do they lobby for legislation requiring them to build ever more solar farms?

Yet, Xcel wants to build more solar because they get a guaranteed 7.5 percent profit on every dollar they spend on power plants, including solar panels, whether they produce electricity or not.

(Snip)

 

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