Energy News Today

Coal Power Is Already More Expensive Than Wind And Solar Power

PA Images
A new study has found coal power is already more expensive than wind and solar projects as a result of the plunging costs of sustainable energy sources. 

In 2019, a report from think tank Energy Innovation projected that three quarters of all coal plants in the US would be uneconomic by 2025. The projection was nearly met just one year later, in 2020, indicating that when it comes to cost, coal is losing out to renewable energy much faster than anticipated.

The shift in prices is a result of an increasing decline in the cost of wind and solar power compared to the combined fuel, maintenance and other costs of most existing coal-fired power plants.

Coal fired power plant (Pixabay)Pixabay

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’.

Wind turbines (PA Images)PA Images

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.

President Joe Biden (PA Images)PA Images

President Joe Biden has declared plans to put the US ‘on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050’.

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

2021-05-07 11:45:00

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
%d bloggers like this: