It would be cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity than it is to continue operating nearly every existing coal plant in the U.S., a new report from Energy Innovation finds.
Of the country’s remaining 210 coal-fired power plants, more than 99% cost more to run than it would cost to replace them with new renewable energy, up from 62% in 2019.
The nationwide median cost of existing coal power is $36/mW-h, compared to just $24/mWh for new solar. The only cost-competitive coal plant to operate compared to building new renewables, Wyoming’s Dry Fork Station, is just $0.32/mW-h cheaper than new renewables.
“Coal is unequivocally more expensive than wind and solar resources, it’s just no longer cost-competitive with renewables,” Michelle Solomon, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, told The Guardian. “There’s a huge opportunity here to invest in coal communities, build local economic resilience and save money in the process.”
For a deeper dive:
The Guardian, Bloomberg, The Hill, Gizmodo, Inside Climate News, The Washington Post, Forbes; Duke Energy: Energy News Network
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