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rolf westgard

rolf westgard's picture
st Paul, MN
Commenter for
5 years 23 weeks

Recent Comments

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.

Minnesota has achieved CO2 emission reductions in two ways: (1) Replacing the Riverside and High Bridge coal power plants with natural gas plants. (2) Operating three round the clock nuclear reactors at Monticello and Prairie Island. Some reductions can be made with wind and solar, but those variable sources haven't had much success in replacing base load power. You can learn more in the following U of MN adult ed class this autumn.

#17041  CO2 is not C: Coal Burning and the New EPA...

A check with NSIDC shows that Arctic ice cover is currently 4.36 million square miles, about the size of the US and India combined.That's about average for the past five years, pausing a long decline. To tour the north pole you will need a dog sled, or hitch a ride on on of our nuclear subs which routinely pass below, powered solely by those reliable nuclear engines.
Ice in Antarctica with 90% of the world's ice is at record levels. And the world atmosphere temperature over...