Whew! Quite a discussion.
I am not an RPS expert, so I don't have a lengthy thread coming on the substance of the paper or the responses. But I do have a few thoughts on releasing a paper like this.
A big one is that many people seem to think we did something special by releasing this paper or hosting an event to discuss it.
That is just not correct.
The list is popular hunting ground for reporters, and these papers are frequently in the media.
We also do events on papers. These are open to the public and are specifically designed to openly grapple with the findings from papers. I think it is something everyone should do.
It is really insulting to say the least.
So a lot of the work is by leading economists who are trying desperately, frantically even, to construct an evidence-based cost curve for climate policy.
I understand that he is not harboring secret support for a carbon tax and just trying to drive the debate there. But...
So much of the reaction here seemed to suggest he was out of line for asking that question. Is that really where we want to be? I think it is a mistake.
1. A bunch of commentary has suggested that because the paper looked at the period from 1990 to 2015, its estimates are only high because it ignores technology costs.
This is incorrect.
This is important and offers real insight about policy going forward.
Look, all RPSs have this in common: they mandate a set of technologies that the market is not choosing on is own. That raises costs!
100% of RPSs have wind and solar.
In that context, it is important to have an understanding of what they cost in the aggregate.
That point is in the paper abstract, so it is not as if the researchers ignored it.
The great thing about #energytwitter is that that element is frequently absent. (More light than heat!)
It is the reason I stay on here, only follow energy people, and would never dip a toe in Facebook.