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Scientists and Scholars Documentation


Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan:

Nearly two dozen researchers critiqued a proposal for wind, solar, and water power gaining traction in policy circles.

A team of prominent researchers sharply critiqued an influential paper arguing that wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055, saying it contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions.


The fear is that legislation will mandate goals that can’t be achieved with available technologies at reasonable prices, leading to “wildly unrealistic expectations” and “massive misallocation of resources."

“They treat U.S. hydropower as an entirely fungible resource. Like the amount [of power] coming from a river in Washington state is available in Georgia, instantaneously.”


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Renewables Alone Significantly Inflates the Cost of Energy.


The basic problem is that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. A study analyzed 36 years’ worth of hourly weather data and found there are gaps in renewable-energy production even on a continental scale.


Relying on these intermittent sources alone would requiring building many more solar and wind farms to produce excess energy during particularly sunny and windy periods, plus huge storage systems that can bank hours’ or even weeks’ worth of power.


Another possibility is to build long-distance transmission routes that could ship the electricity around the country at just the moment it’s needed.


Just getting to 80 percent of demand reliably with only wind and solar would require either a US-wide high-speed transmission system or 12 hours of electricity storage. A storage system of that size across the US would cost more than $2.5 trillion for a battery system.


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