A group of 21 leading researchers has strongly rebuked an influential paper arguing that wind, solar and hydro could provide 100% of US grid power reliably and at low cost by 2055, claiming such an analysis involves modelling errors, inappropriate methods and implausible assumptions.

“A policy prescription that over-promises on the benefits of relying on a narrower portfolio of technologies options could be counterproductive, seriously impeding the move to a cost-effective decarbonised energy system,” the researchers wrote in a rebuttal published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.