What is wind energy worth to Minnesotans?

  • Article by: BETH SOHOLT
  • Updated: December 29, 2011 - 8:22 PM

The community benefits are evident, and the subsidies are reasonable.

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mcjoe1Dec. 29, 11 9:29 PM

Tax subsidies only make sense for early technology industries that will have a positive improvement on society. Oil and gas subsidies should've expired long ago. Nuclear will likely always have subsidies because it's so heavily regulated - nuclear power technology has pretty much been hold since the 70s. Wind seems to have reached the point where it is becoming economically feasible without subsidies. Xcel only charges 10-20% more for power that comes exclusively from wind. If federal wind subsidies do stop, then perhaps it's time for the state utility commission to step in and start mandating a certain mix of renewable energy for all energy sold. There are other ways to keep the renewable energy momentum going. Appliances never got more energy efficient because consumers demanded them to.

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davehougDec. 29, 1110:49 PM

The bottom line is that wind energy in Minnesota is sound business and smart policy. It's good for consumers. - - Not Yet. If so power companies would be asking for wind power rather than being forced to. We all get out our collective wallet every windy day. That said, it will take subsidized steps to get to cheaper than coal. Decide based on potenial to be improved. Don't decide based on robbing Peter to pay Paul results in temporary jobs.

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aspartzDec. 30, 11 4:05 AM

"then perhaps it's time for the state utility commission to step in and start mandating a certain mix of renewable energy for all energy sold." ----- Why should the public be forced to buy a more expensive product that provides EXACTLY the same service?

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toolman28Dec. 30, 11 5:01 AM

davehoug , What is the xost for heavy metals in our food chain ? Oh thats right we get to subsidize that our selves thru agged health care costs

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theagonybhoDec. 30, 11 7:59 AM

What is wind energy worth to Minnesotans? About 3 cents.

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yahsiekjnhgpDec. 30, 11 8:13 AM

Wind energy - a distant dream. Great in theory but nothing else. Another feel good exercise for those doomsayers who believe we are nearing the end of the earth.

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elind56Dec. 30, 11 8:23 AM

Nobody can argue that if both renewable and traditional energy companies were taxed at the exact same rate, the renewable would be MUCH more expensive to produce per energy unit leading to a much higher price for the consumer. Subsidy shell games by government DOES NOT change that fact. And to call wind power an "emerging" technology that needs subsidies to get out of the blocks is simply absurd. We've been unsuccesfully fiddling around with it for many decades now. The author touts the economic benefits for these communities but those benefits are a result of taxpayer-funded subsidies pouring in, not because wind power is CREATING any wealth. Any economic growth happening in these communities is at the expense of growth somewhere else. It's wealth redistribution. Not wealth creation.

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notaxmaxDec. 30, 11 8:29 AM

This article is mostly hogwash and lies. Sorry, the bloom is off the rose regarding wind. At about 20 times the cost of coal generation it is not affordable (having my monthly electric bill go from $100 to $2,000 dollars would not work for example. The Texas grid manager, governed by full disclosure laws, puts windmill output at 8.7% of nameplate. Simply put, all the windmills in Minnesota only equal the output of a small power plant. To replace Xcels Sherco plant with windmills would require 29,000 MW or a 60 square mile area at 8 to a mile. Wind is a joke, a farse and a ripoff of taxpayers and ratepayers.

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muskiedogDec. 30, 11 8:31 AM

taking our money to prop up your business is not helping the community.

Go talk to the actaul peoiple who live next to these farms and they hate them and are a blight on the country side.

Could you imagine the outrage if the where oil rigs.

Libs would be screaming.

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muskiedogDec. 30, 11 8:32 AM

mcjoe1

What oil subsidies are you talking about?

Can you list them please?

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