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No Contest: Replacing US Coal Plants with Solar and Wind is Cheaper Than Keeping Them

Posted by Ben Piper on Feb 15, 2023

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A recent study has revealed that the cost of running 99% of coal-fired power plants in the US is more expensive than replacing them with new solar and wind farms. The research, conducted by Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy, looked at data from over 20,000 power plants and found that, in most cases, transitioning to renewables could save money for utility companies and customers.

The study found that around 75% of the existing coal plants in the US are more expensive to operate than building new renewable energy projects. This figure rises to 86% by 2025, and by 2030, it reaches 96%. By 2035, it is projected that replacing 99% of coal plants with renewables would result in cost savings of around $10 billion per year.

The benefits of transitioning to renewable energy are not just financial. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking around 70% of US cars off the road. Moreover, replacing coal plants with wind and solar farms would create new jobs in the clean energy sector and boost local economies.

The findings of the study are significant given that coal currently accounts for around 20% of US electricity generation. The move away from coal towards renewable energy sources is a key part of the Biden administration's climate agenda, with a goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Overall, the Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy report highlights the economic and environmental benefits of transitioning to renewable energy sources in the US. As the cost of wind and solar energy continues to fall, and technology improves, it is likely that more coal plants will be retired and replaced by clean energy projects in the coming years.

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Topics: Homes, residential solar contractor, solar electricity

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