Universal basic income had a rough 2018

Back in June we declared, “Basic income could work—if you do it Canada style.” We talked to the people on the ground getting the checks in Ontario’s 4,000-person test and saw how it was changing the community. Then, just two months later, it was announced that the program is ending in the new year rather […]

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Relying on renewables alone significantly inflates the cost of overhauling energy

It increasingly appears that insisting on 100 percent renewable sources—and disdaining others that don’t produce greenhouse gases, such as nuclear power and fossil-fuel plants with carbon-capture technology—is wastefully expensive and needlessly difficult. In the latest piece of evidence, a study published in Energy & Environmental Science determined that solar and wind energy alone could reliably […]

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Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan

On Monday, 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 (see “Fifty-States Plan Charts a Path Away from Fossil Fuels”). The rebuttal appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the same journal that ran the original 2015 paper. Several of the nearly two dozen researchers say they were driven to act because the original authors declined to publish what they viewed as necessary corrections, and the findings were influencing state and federal policy proposals. 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,” says David Victor, an energy policy researcher at the University of California, San Diego, and coauthor of the critique. “That is both harmful to the economy, and creates the seeds of a backlash.”

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