Another $28 million down the drain. [New York Times]
I foresee abject failure. The $4M per contractor will fund only about 20 man-years of effort. Of the 7 ‘projects’ involved, the work of 4 will be discarded (wasting $16 off the top). The other 3 will be the ones that can be ‘sold’ to technically naive bureaucrats and politicians, and not necessarily the most feasible or cost-effective plans.
At the end of the money all we will have is *3 plans* that (1) underestimate the cost by a factor of no less than 2, (2) overestimate the benefits by a factor of at least 2, and (3) overlook the kind of serious (maybe even deal-breaking) technical issues that can ONLY be identified through experience.
This $28M will not put a single deep-water wind-powered generating unit online.
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