Photovoltaic power plants produce electricity from sunlight. : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Photovoltaic power plants produce electricity from sunlight.

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Director
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Photovoltaic power plants produce electricity from sunlight. [#permalink]

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11 May 2005, 15:08
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12. Photovoltaic power plants produce electricity from sunlight. As a result of astonishing recent technological advances, the cost of producing electric power at photovoltaic power plants, allowing for both construction and operating costs, is one-tenth of what it was 20 years ago, whereas the corresponding cost for traditional plants, which burn fossil fuels, has increased. Thus, photovoltaic power plants offer a less expensive approach to meeting demand for electricity than do traditional power plants.

The conclusion of the argument is properly drawn if which one of the following is assumed?

(A) The cost of producing electric power at traditional plants has increased over the past 20 years.
(B) Twenty years ago, traditional power plants were producing 10 times more electric power than were photovoltaic plants.
(C) None of the recent technological advances in producing electric power at photovoltaic plants can be applied to producing power at traditional plants.
(D) Twenty years ago, the cost of producing electric power at photovoltaic plants was less than 20 times the cost of producing power at traditional plants.
(E) The cost of producing electric power at photovoltaic plants is expected to decrease further, while the cost of producing power at traditional plants is not expected to decrease.
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12 May 2005, 02:46
Between B and D, D is straight forward. But B also seems to be fine with the following reasoning.

20 yrs ago Assuming for $100, P (Photovoltaic ) were producing x power. For the same amount T (traditional) were producing 10 times that is 10x power. now as the cost of producing power from P has reducing 10 times, i.e for$100 10x power can be generated. However from the assumption T costs have increased, i.e for $100 now <10x power can be produced, assume 9x. Hence the stated conclusion is valid. Manager Joined: 28 Jan 2004 Posts: 200 Location: Ghana Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 0 ### Show Tags 12 May 2005, 04:54 I will go for C. I don't think B and D are acceptable because one can't be sure the amount of the increase in the cost of traditional plants. C because even if the cost of traditional plants increased and the new technology were applicable to the burning of fossil fuels, it will still be possible for the procedure to turn out less expensive than it was 20 years ago. _________________ It's not over until it's OVER! Senior Manager Joined: 10 Dec 2004 Posts: 272 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 159 [0], given: 0 ### Show Tags 12 May 2005, 09:10 "C" No explanation needed! Senior Manager Joined: 12 Oct 2003 Posts: 261 Location: sydney Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 0 ### Show Tags 12 May 2005, 09:18 Meenu, B is wrong. your comparison is wrong for B. "20 yrs ago Assuming for$100, P (Photovoltaic ) were producing x power. For the same amount T (traditional) were producing 10 times that is 10x power. "

according to the stem ,20 yrs ago P and T were not producing x power for the same amount. it should be like this for x power

P(before) 100
P(now) 100/10=10

T(before) 120
T(now) 120/5(say)=24

C is also wrong because tech advances for P can not be applied to P. it is obvious or a pre-requisitive not and assumption.

D is best.
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12 May 2005, 10:04
I pick D.

we are comparing cost here, so technology in C is irrelevant.

in B, even we know the Traditional ones produced more electricity, but we still cannot figure out the cost.
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12 May 2005, 20:16
C is the most logical. It is possible that the new technology could be applied to the traditional fossil burning plants.
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13 May 2005, 05:56
The OA is D.
Director
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13 May 2005, 06:07
The OA is D.
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13 May 2005, 21:27
Can you please elaborate on d.im still not very clear.

do we have to show that the cost of producing electric power at photovoltaic plants has remained lesser than that of producing power at traditional plants throughout-that is 20 years before as is explained in d and the rest in the question stem.
Isnt it possible that though the cost of photovoltaic PP was 1/10 of traditional PP, the cost otherwise may not neccesarily be lesser?perhaps earlier they were cheaper and now are 1/10 of the original cost(not compared with traditional PP)

Best.
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13 May 2005, 22:07
D is the best answer imo, however it would fit question better if opereational costs of regular PPs 'has increased significantly' instead of simply 'has increased'. Assumption in D increases the likelihood of solar PPs cost to drop below regular PPs cost.
13 May 2005, 22:07
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