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Study says building new renewable capacity would be cheaper than running existing U.S. coal plants

January 30, 2023

Bloomberg ($):

Replacing coal power plants across the United States with renewable energy projects would reduce carbon emissions and require less water.

Add to the list: It would also save money.

Nearly all existing US coal plants require more cash to operate than the cost of replacing them with new wind or solar projects, according to a report published Monday by San Francisco-based climate think tank Energy Innovation. 

The finding is in line with past research by BloombergNEF that determined building new solar and wind farms is cheaper than operating existing coal or gas power plants in much of the world. 

Critical to the cost advantage of renewable energy in the US is President Joe Biden’s climate legislation, which provides billions of dollars in incentives for clean energy infrastructure. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act has made this local replacement and reinvestment scenario so economic and so much cheaper than coal,” said Michelle Solomon, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation and the lead author of the report. “It really creates a big opportunity to diversify the economics in coal communities.”

[Carly Wanna]

More: Replacing US Coal Plants With Solar and Wind Is Cheaper Than Running Them

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