Solar and wind’s competitiveness over coal is accelerating, analysis shows

A new analysis from Energy Innovation shows that clean energy technologies like wind and solar are rapidly overtaking coal-powered electricity generation in terms of costs. Even without considering the health and social costs of pollution caused by traditional fossil power plants, the levelized costs for new wind and solar power plants are falling faster than expected. 

“In Ohio and elsewhere in the Midwest, most coal-fired power plants are older. A separate December 2020 analysis by Emily Grubert at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that less than one-sixth of the expected lifespan for U.S. coal-fired power plants’ capacity would remain by 2035 in any case… 

‘This is a trend. This is not a surprise,’ said Neil Waggoner, Ohio representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. ‘The costs of renewables just keep decreasing. Meanwhile, the coal plants out there are getting older. … None of these plants are spring chickens.’

Since late 2013, utilities had sought bailouts for uneconomic coal plants, Waggoner noted. Two Ohio Valley Electric Corporation plants continue to get subsidies of nearly $233,000 per day under House Bill 6, the 2019 law at the heart of an alleged $60 million conspiracy involving former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder…

‘The legislature is trying to find ways to put up barriers for renewables,’ Waggoner said, ‘while also ignoring the reality of coal in an absolute decline.”

Read the full story on Energy News Network. 

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