June 20, 2017

Researchers Discredit Renewables Plan Hailed By Environmentalists


MIT Technology Review reports that nearly two dozen researchers released a sharp critique of a 2015 paper by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson to develop a 100% renewable energy power grid, a plan that has been hailed by environmentalists:

On Monday, a team of prominent researchers sharply critiqued an influential paper that argued wind, solar, and hydroelectric power could affordably meet most of the nation’s energy needs by 2055, asserting it contained modeling errors and implausible assumptions that could distort public policy and spending decisions (see “Fifty-States Plan Charts a Path Away from Fossil Fuels”).

This critique comes several months after America Rising Squared (AR2) released its own report that reached a similar conclusion.

AR2 Executive Director Brian Rogers wrote in an op-ed published by Real Clear Energy that Jacobson’s plan was fancifully unrealistic and would harm the economy:

What McKibben and his allies fail to tell Americans is that Jacobson’s plan would totally devastate the U.S. economy to the tune of 4 million lost jobs, and would be a land grab the size of North Dakota, as a new AR2 white paper makes clear.

After the AR2 white paper was released, Jacobson took to Twitter in an unhinged rant about the report.