The latest report from Energy Innovation, released this month, revealed that local wind and solar could now replace 80% of the US coal fleet with immediate savings to customers.
It explains: ‘In 2019, 239 gigawatts (GW) of coal capacity was online in the U.S. Our research finds that in 2020, 72% of that capacity, or 166 GW, was either uneconomic compared to local wind or solar or slated for retirement within five years. Out of the 235 plants in the U.S. coal fleet, 182 plants, or 80%, are uneconomic or already retiring.’
As the cost of renewable energy continues to drop, the think tank advises that policymakers should ‘seize the opportunity’ and implement measures benefitting renewable energy which can ‘improve consumer, public health and climate outcomes’.
It further stresses that in taking advantage of renewable energy, ‘immense savings are available across the country, with ample opportunities to reinvest regionally in replacement clean energy portfolios.’
Energy Innovation describes coal as a ‘highly polluting and expensive way to generate electricity’, and stresses that its data shows there are ‘economic alternatives to continuing to burn coal for power in the US.’
Furthermore, analyses such as “The 2035 Report” show that we can fully retire coal, stop building other fossil fuel plants (namely gas), and still reliably meet electricity demand, while providing a host of environmental and societal benefits…
The continuation and intensification of the coal cost crossover demands attention from policymakers and consumers alike.
He has accused former president Donald Trump of setting the country back ‘in terms of progress on environmental justice and clean energy jobs’ by giving tax cuts to multinational companies rather than supporting tax credits to keep solar and wind workers employed in the US, and is now working to ‘deliver an equitable clean energy future.’
Read More: Coal Power Is Already More Expensive Than Wind And Solar Power