Three-quarters of America’s coal plants are now more costly to operate than the price of replacing them with new wind and solar. That’s according to a recent report on InsideClimate News based on a new analysis published by Vibrant Clean Energy and Energy Innovation. For those following economic and energy trends over the last decade, this isn’t so much news as confirmation of what was expected—with numbers making the case for renewable energy better than ever.
According to the report, by 2025 not a single coal-fired power plant operating in the southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina or South Carolina—nor any coal power station located along the entire stretch of the Ohio River—will be cost-competitive with new wind and solar installations being built today.
In fact, the analysis found that 86% of coal plants nationwide will become money losers within six years as market and investment trends for energy production continue to swing heavily in favor of renewables. One of the authors of the study, Mike O’Boyle, points out: “My big takeaway is the breadth and universality of this trend across the continental U.S. and the speed with which things are changing.”
While the report doesn’t explicitly call for an immediate closure of coal plants operating in the U.S., it makes the latest, strongest case why electricity generation from wind and solar is the clear economic investment of the future—particularly in southern states where clean energy jobs, in communities from Jackson to Birmingham to Charleston, can provide economic revitalization.
What We’re Reading: “New Wind and Solar Power Is Cheaper than Existing Coal in Much of the U.S., Analysis Finds” published on Inside Climate NewsSee more what we’re reading