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rolf westgard

rolf westgard's picture
st Paul, MN
Commenter for
5 years 24 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 09/25/14 at 04:07 am in response to Climate change poses wide-ranging dangers to public health, experts warn

We no longer hear the term global warming; instead it is climate change. The reason for avoiding global warming is that there hasn't been any in the 21st Century.
Climate change allows every storm, flood, drought, etc to be blamed on carbon dioxide emissions. Warren Buffet, CEO of some major casualty insurance companies, noted recently that their rates have not increased, and aren't expected to increase, because there has been no increase in unusual weather events.

Even though we disagree on the impact of atmosphere CO2, I always appreciate the well reasoned positions of Robert Moffitt.

We are currently using natural gas to replace coal, as with the High Bridge and Riverside gas plants in the Twin Cities. We are exposed to a price risk as a few years ago natural gas was 3 to 4 times its current price. A return to that level would send power prices soaring.
Nuclear fuel is about one half cent per kwh, so there is little price risk. Nuclear plants cost a lot to build in the US, but their operating cost is low, and they produce an enormous amount of round the clock...

He forgot to add offshore wind at 204 and solar thermal at 243. Existing nuclear plants beat them all at about 50. Too bad we didn't build twice as many when costs were lower like they are today in China. They plan to build a hundred new nuclear plants to clean up the air in their cities.

Those shutdown plants were mostly small experimental units. Operating cost of our existing plants is about 2 cents/kwh. Total fuel cost is about.6 cents/kwh. The existing 100 unit fleet is a huge bargain for the US.

In the USA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved more than 140 uprates totalling over 6500 MWe since 1977,
Worldwide 60 new nuclear plants are under construction, 6 of those in the U.S.
Wind and solar have not replaced one large base load power plant anywhere in the world. They are useful supplements that require a lot of natural gas capability for backup. Nuclear plants have a 90% capacity factor. US wind is about 30 % and solar 25%.

Posted on 08/11/14 at 01:48 pm in response to Minnesota could be a solar leader if we move forward with smart policies

Today, solar is still an insignificant less than 1% of our electric energy. Unlike wind, it has the potential of significant improvements in the technology.
But currently, solar is only about 15% efficient as it only responds to a portion of the sun's radiation. In addition, it is useless for the long periods when there is no sun, or the sun is too low to impact the panels. Imagine the recent quiet nights with no wind or sun. All traffic lights go dark, as do hospitals and factories,...

Posted on 08/07/14 at 04:37 am in response to Parent involvement is a critical part of students' success

Your headline is the understatement of the year.
Sadly, many parents can't help with homework as they lack basic reading and math skills. And some single parents are simply overwhelmed with life's challenges.

What is the daughter's record?

When I visit the developed nations of Europe and Asia. The inferiority of US public transport systems and the second rate way we deliver health care. We rank 34th on infant mortality rates among nations, and are similarly behind in other health statistics including the cost of medical care. We have more super facilities like the Mayo, Johns Hopkins, etc. But for the broad populace, we are behind without single payer. The ACA is a small step toward improvement.