Carbon-free energy is not realistic in today’s world
Published on February 7, 2023 at 2:53pm EST | Author: frazeevergas0
To the Editor,
We all want to ensure a dependable energy future for Minnesota. However, the Democrats’ 100 percent carbon-free energy proposal would not help advance this mission, and instead, could severely jeopardize our energy outlook.
Senate File 4, fittingly known as the “Minnesota Blackout Bill,” would mandate our state’s electricity to be from carbon-free sources. It would establish a carbon-free resource standard for all covered electric utilities starting at 80 percent in 2030 and increasing by steps to 100 percent by 2040. As a result, Minnesota would be shut off from coal and natural gas and only the renewable energy sources of solar, wind and battery storage would be allowed.
The 100 percent carbon-free mandate would come with tremendous expenses, and the Center of the American Experiment estimates that it would cost each customer an average of $3,888 in additional electricity costs every year, through 2050. Energy prices are already skyrocketing, and this proposal would only hurt the pocketbooks of Minnesotans. And I have heard from many local utilities that have also voiced concerns about the cost for their consumers.
Further, not only is the zero-carbon electricity mandate costly to Minnesota, but it would lessen the reliability of our energy future. There are already great stresses on the Midwest power grid. And as a result, our state potentially faces devastating blackouts like those we have seen in California, Texas and North Carolina. That is why we must ensure Minnesota has enough new, reliable energy generation in place until we shut down our existing supply of energy.
And therefore, nuclear is one option that I believe must be considered to ensure Minnesota has a diverse portfolio of energy technologies. Nuclear is a zero-emission, carbon-free source of energy that creates an enormous amount of energy using a very small amount of fuel. And that is why Senate Republicans tried to amend this legislation to include nuclear as a renewable energy source. This amendment, however, was ultimately rejected by Senate Democrats.
As technology progresses, our energy sector continues to become cleaner and reduces carbon emissions. This top-down government mandate will have no tangible environmental benefits but will cost Minnesota consumers and threaten grid reliability.