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# In response to the increasing cost of producing energy

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In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2007, 18:57
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In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

The claim of the utility companies presupposes which of the following?

(A) The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
(B) No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
(C) Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
(D) The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
(E) Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky.

Last edited by doe007 on 30 Apr 2013, 20:17, edited 1 time in total.

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11 Nov 2009, 17:13
I would have thought it to be C as well.

Which part of the explanation you did not understand ? I can try explaining..

gmatforce wrote:
The official answer is C. Though even i don't agree. Following is the explanation given.
Can any of the experts make it simpler for us to understand?

The conclusion of the argument is that renewable sources of energy, chiefly solar and wind, will be less risky for certain utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as oil and gas. The basis for this claim is that the renewable sources will provide stable, low-cost supplies of energy, whereas the prices for nonrenewable sources will fluctuate according to availability. We are asked to find an assumption underlying this argument. In order for this argument to be valid, it must in fact be true that these renewable sources of energy will provide stable, low-cost supplies.

(A) The utility companies' claim has to do with the supply risk of the new energy sources, not with how these sources are received by the public.

(B) If no new supplies of traditional energy sources are found, then it is true that perhaps these nonrenewable supplies will continue to fluctuate in price in a risky manner. However, the argument does not depend upon any assumption about the future discovery of oil and gas supplies.

(C) CORRECT. If we assume that weather patterns are consistent and predictable, then with the stated premises, we can conclude that solar and wind power will be less risky than oil and gas. If, on the other hand, weather patterns are not consistent and predictable, then solar and wind power are not reliable and thus will not provide "stable energy supplies at low cost." Thus, the argument's conclusion directly depends on this assumption.

(D) To reach the required conclusion, it is not necessary to assume that the conversion technology for new sources is not more expensive than the present technology.

(E) This choice does not directly affect the argument. Whether or not energy produced through combustion can be made less risky, the new energy sources might still be less risky than the older sources.

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16 Nov 2009, 08:29
C seems best. The passage's assumes renewable energy sources are stable and predictable.
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In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 08:50
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In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

The claim of the utility companies presupposes which of the following?
a) The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
b) No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
c) Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
d) The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
e) Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky.

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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 09:30
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Did you find D more attractive? Lets look at claim-
"The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost."

Conclusion - As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

Two examples are cited in the arg -
traditional resources -> example is combustion
renewable energy resources -> example is chiefly wind and solar power

I dont think above two examples even represent the broad scope of "traditional" Vs "renewable energy resources". I mean comparing "just" these will not help unless you compare the whole. I think the utility companies scope is broader hence D cannot support the argument. However C is what we need for "stable" supply of energy. And if the weather patterns cannot be predicted, the argument collapses - the prices now will fluctuate for the renewable resources. Hence C.

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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 09:48
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I think the "negate the assumption" technique solves this one.

A) If the public does not embrace the project, utility companies can still keep their project.
B) If deposits of gas, oil or coal are found, the companies can still use renewable energy.
C) If weather patterns are not consistent and predictable, a month without wind and sun would undermine their project.
D) If the technology is expensive but they want to invest, there is no problem. They will lose money but will be able to achieve their goal, which is to rely completely on renewable energy sources.
E) Again, if obtaining energy from those sources can be made less risky, the companies can still complete their project.

The only necessary assumption is C.

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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 14:12
thanks guys!

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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 14:32
+1 C

This kind of assumption is called "a defender" in the Powerscore CR book.
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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 15:43
C. Because the company did not mention any risk of changing weather.
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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 05:18
C is the not very obvious.
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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 05:32
By negating the choices, C emerges as a winner (Defender choice).
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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 12:09
garimavyas wrote:
C is the not very obvious.

C is the OA too.
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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2011, 04:16
Between C and D, i chose D. But C seems to be better.

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Re: Assumption - very difficult [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2011, 03:18
Not easy one.
C, after 4 minutes. Right, but late

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13 May 2011, 03:35
clean C as wind and solar needs good weather predictability at the first place.
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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21 May 2012, 06:34
After reading the explanation, I agreed that C is correct.

How about D though? i think it is a very good choice and based on what ground i should rule out D?

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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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21 May 2012, 06:53
gmatforce wrote:
In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

The claim of the utility companies presupposes which of the following?
a) The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
b) No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
c) Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
d) The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
e) Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky.

good Q and mazing explanation..
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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21 May 2012, 07:45
gmatforce wrote:
In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

The claim of the utility companies presupposes which of the following?
a) The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
b) No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
c) Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
d) The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
e) Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky.

It is clearly mentioned that the prices of gas, oil or coal can fluctuate accordingly to availability. When in abundance, the price can actually be lower than wind or solar power. Hence D clearly is not an assumption.
A, B and E are clearly out of scope.
C - Correct choice - Production of energy using renewable sources of energy depends on the consistent availability of the same. Hence, the energy generation depends on the weather patters.

I hope the explanation helps.

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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2012, 02:59
Straight C.

If weather patterns were not predictable and consistent, then the future supply of the renewable energy would not be smooth, not unlike that of current market-prone petroleum and gas supplies.\

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In response to the increasing cost of producing energy [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2012, 13:04
In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability.

The claim of the utility companies presupposes which of the following?

A The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
B No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
C Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
D The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
E Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky.

OA Later

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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy---- [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2012, 13:09
answer is C which is the assumption "Weather patterns are consistent and predictable."
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy----   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2012, 13:09

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