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The Heated Politics of Renewable Energy

As cities vow to meet the Paris climate commitments, rival researchers debate the true costs of going 100-percent renewable.
100-percent daisy power, please.
100-percent daisy power, please.Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

From San Diego, California, to St. Petersburg, Florida, dozens of U.S. cities are working rapidly toward 100-percent renewable energy targets, doubling down on solar and wind installations, investing in electric bus fleets, and swapping out streetlights with LEDs.

But a new study is questioning the scientific foundations of such “100-percent” commitments—and sparking heated debate.