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

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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.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Dec 2017, 06:37, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through [#permalink]

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priyankur_saha@ml.com 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. -> out of scope.eliminate
B No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.-> the new approach is due to fluctuation in availability not due to absence of resources of conventional fuels sources.Even if we get reserves and they get exhausted then this assumption proves wrong.Eliminate.
C Weather patterns are consistent and predictable. -> perfect since the whole article talks about going for renewable energy source due to its stable availability.Hence lets do a negation test : negate this statement and see.Weather is fluctuating and unpredictable then how are we supposed to get sunshine and wind at a stable level to harness energy.argument falls apart then.Hence this i the presupposition in the argument.IMO (C)
D The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion. -> its already said in passage that initial costs are high .these might be applicable to this clause.hence its not assumption
E Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky. -> its not that obtaining energy from gas,oil and coal is risky.its the sources availabilty .eliminate

I took 3mins to solve it but still went wrong...!!

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

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New post 29 Aug 2008, 17:58
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Just now I got why my answer B is incorrect and C is correct. Hint-reread the question again, it doesnt ask what is the assumption of the argument, rather question is what utility companies assume. In that context C is the best answer.

I freq noticed that many times in the CR, to create tough/tricky question test makers changes the frame of the question from the argument prespective to some third party prespective. Such as-

Head of neigbourhood watch: values of the houses are declines since the opening of the bus stand near the community. People are increasingly unwilling to buy house in the community near to the bus stand.

head of transportation: Values are declining not due to bus stand but due to increasing crime rate in the community. So police should be more active in the community area.

Question.. head of neigbourhood watch must reply which of the following to counter the response of the head of the trasportation?

A> Crime rates are increasing since the opening of the bus stand, specially in the night.
B> Many people are unwilling to buy houses near to the bus stand, reason bus stand often makes more noises in the night.

Hope this will help for people like me, who often misread questions..

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

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New post 17 Aug 2009, 02:03
Conclusion : renewable sorces are less risky ...........

so author must assume that there is no factor causing hindrance in power generation from these sources. Hence, answer is C.

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

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New post 05 Oct 2009, 11:23
hitman4683v1 wrote:
8. 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?
• The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power.
==> whether public will embrace the new techonology is not the matter of concern. The argument says that energy generation from renewable sources (wind and solar) will be less risky since price will be stable.• No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future.
==> Even if new deposits of gas, oil and coal are discovered, the conclusion will stand tall. • Weather patterns are consistent and predictable.
==> If weather patterns and inconsistent and unpredicable, the power supply will be hampered hence the conclusion that power price will be stable is weakened. Hence it is the right answer.• The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more
expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion.
==> Even if new tenchnogoy costs more, the conclusion will stand tall.• Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal,
cannot be made less risky.
==> I will keep this option as contender. I prefer option "C" because the conlusion states the renewable sources of energy will be less risky. It does not bother if nonrenewable sources can be made less risk.

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

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New post 06 Oct 2009, 06:55
Hi all,
Sorry for the late reply.
The OA is C.

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. Plus, its not just the risk associated with
renewable resources that affects the argument. The other factor of availibility is still present


Nice explanation from gmataspirant2009 too....
This has been taken from http://gmat-cr.blogspot.com/search/labe ... Assumption

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

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

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New post 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: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through [#permalink]

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

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New post 26 Sep 2012, 04:20
+1 C

It is an “Assumption” type question

Premise 1 - 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

Premise 2 - The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they

Premise 3 or Sub-Conclusion - 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

If we look at Premise 2 and Premise 3 (sub-conclusion), the company concludes that renewable source provide stable energy supplies at low cost in spite of the fact that it requires high initial cost. There is an assumption here i.e. the weather patterns (a pre-requisite for solar and wind power) will be consistent and predictable. If you negate this statement it completely destroys the sub-conclusion and also the main conclusion.

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

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New post 30 Apr 2013, 08:44
Go for C

The utility company believes that switching over to renewable resources like solar or wind is a good plan because it assumes that the climate will not change or it will be predictable and there will be no fluctuation in the supply .....just as in case of oil and natural gas.

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

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New post 30 Apr 2013, 17:14
deepri0812 wrote:
I approached the question by finding the conc - renewable sources will be less risky than non renewable resources such as gas,oil, coal etc whose prices fluctuate as per availability.

Now if I can make the energy from non-renewable sources less risky I am home , but the answer choice adds some external information which acc to powerscore CR is not allowed. Please help where I am going wrong ?


Hi deepri0812
As far as I know, you selected E and you're asking why E is wrong?

This is assumption question, the most important thing is conclusion. What is conclusion here? (1) renewable energy sources will provide stable energy supplies at low cost OR (2) nonrenewable energy sources are very risky? Clearly, the conclusion is the former sentence. If it's true, what makes these renewable sources more stable ==> the weather pattern must be consistent and predictable. ==> C is correct.

How about E. E says "Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky". It also means Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources in the future can be made as risky as it can be made now. This is just the premise in the stimulus, how it can be an assumption? If you don't believe, negate E.

Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, CAN BE MADE less risky. It doesn't help anything to conclude renewable energy sources are stable. Hence, E is wrong.

Take away
- Finding conclusions in Assumption question is the most important.
- Negation technique.

Hope it helps.
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through [#permalink]

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I see a lot of good posts on this thread and quite a number of similar explanations for the correctness of Option C.

However, as I look at the explanations given, I can see that they are not accurate. Most of the explanations revolve around the last line of the passage i.e.

"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 reasoning is that since renewable sources are less risky than nonrenewable sources whose prices can fluctuate dramatically, the assumption inbuilt is that the prices of renewable sources will be stable. This is an incorrect assumption. The only assumption is that the prices of renewable sources will be less fluctuating than nonrenewable sources; not that the prices of renewable sources will not fluctuate at all.

But then, how come Option C is the answer?

The answer is that you need to look at the second last statement of the passage - which also happens to be the claim of the utility companies but conveniently ignored by almost all of us in the analysis. Look at the question stem - it specifically talks about the claim of the utility companies. Both the second last and last statements of the passage are claims of the utility companies. We just cannot take second last statement as a given fact - it is a claim, which needs to be evaluated in this question.

So, what is the second last statement saying?

"The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost."

Now, tell me what is the assumption in the above statement?

The answer is option C. Because unless weather patterns are consistent and predictable, the renewable energy sources will not provide stable energy supplies.

That's it. The answer is quite simple to understand if we look at this second last statement. Isn't it?

Hope this helps a bit :)

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

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New post 30 Apr 2013, 20:52
deepri0812 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?

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

I approached the question by finding the conc - renewable sources will be less risky than non renewable resources such as gas,oil, coal etc whose prices fluctuate as per availability.

Now if I can make the energy from non-renewable sources less risky I am home , but the answer choice adds some external information which acc to powerscore CR is not allowed. Please help where I am going wrong ?


First thing to find out: what is the claim of the utility companies? Answer: "they (renewable energy sources) will provide stable energy supplies at low cost".

Point to note: claim of the utility companies is not "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."
First and last line in the argument are author's statements. Only second line has the claim of the utility companies.


A) This statement does not provide any information on whether renewable energy sources will provide stable energy supplies at low cost. Wrong.
B) Out of scope as the claim does not have the concern on traditional energy sources. Rather the concern is on achieving low cost from renewable energy sources. Wrong.
C) Wind and solar power is dependent on weather and nature. This option is correlated with renewable energy sources. Right option.
D) This point already addressed in the utility companies' claim -- initial capital investment must be inclusive of required technology cost and stable low cost includes operational cost. Hence it is not an assumption. Wrong.
E) This is also out of scope as the claim does not have the concern on traditional energy sources. Rather the concern is on achieving low cost from renewable energy sources. Wrong.

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New post 30 Apr 2013, 21:04
egmat wrote:
I see a lot of good posts on this thread and quite a number of similar explanations for the correctness of Option C.

However, as I look at the explanations given, I can see that they are not accurate. Most of the explanations revolve around the last line of the passage i.e.

"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 reasoning is that since renewable sources are less risky than nonrenewable sources whose prices can fluctuate dramatically, the assumption inbuilt is that the prices of renewable sources will be stable. This is an incorrect assumption. The only assumption is that the prices of renewable sources will be less fluctuating than nonrenewable sources; not that the prices of renewable sources will not fluctuate at all.

But then, how come Option C is the answer?

The answer is that you need to look at the second last statement of the passage - which also happens to be the claim of the utility companies but conveniently ignored by almost all of us in the analysis. Look at the question stem - it specifically talks about the claim of the utility companies. Both the second last and last statements of the passage are claims of the utility companies. We just cannot take second last statement as a given fact - it is a claim, which needs to be evaluated in this question.

So, what is the second last statement saying?

"The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost."

Now, tell me what is the assumption in the above statement?

The answer is option C. Because unless weather patterns are consistent and predictable, the renewable energy sources will not provide stable energy supplies.

That's it. The answer is quite simple to understand if we look at this second last statement. Isn't it?

Hope this helps a bit :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev

The problem or confusion in a nutshell:
First and last line in the stimulus are author's statements. Only the second line in the stimulus has the claim of the utility companies. However, because of the argument structure, many people are treating the last line as the claim of utility companies and thus the wrong answers are considered as right.

Once the actual claim of the utility companies becomes clear, answer to the question becomes very easy to find.

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

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New post 27 Aug 2013, 03:08
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.


In this question:
Premise: 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

Conclusion 1: The utility companies claim that although these sources require significant initial capital investment, they will provide stable energy supplies at low cost.

Conclusion 2: 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.

Read: Conclusion 2 + Therefore, Conclusion 1. (Therefore test)

hence, answer - C
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2015, 12:15
tarek99 wrote:
I chose E as my answer. If you negate option E, it will weaken the argument. Here's how to do it:

e) Obtaining energy from nonrenewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, CAN be made less risky

by changing from "cannot" to "can", the negated result will weaken the argument big time, so this must be the correct answer.


You have to check exactly what is being asked.
Look at the last sentence:
"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."

It's not talking if the way to obtain the energy is less risky in one or another
It says about the AVAILABILITY of the energy.

What depends the availability of those king of energy sources? The weather.

I hope its clear.

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

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New post 19 Jul 2016, 03:55
target760gmat wrote:
Why not D ? If D is invalid, then question of cost efficient method goes away right?


The claim refferd to is:
" As a result, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than nonrenewable sources".

This claim is about the risk involved in production, not cost effectiveness of the production.

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

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 21:18
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.
Negating answer choice C invalidates the conclusion.
If weather patterns and inconsistent and unpredictable, the power supply will be hampered hence the conclusion that power price will be stable is weakened. Hence C is correct.
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Re: In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2017, 21:18

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