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New wind and solar power is cheaper than existing coal in much of the U.S., analysis finds

GRAFTON, MASSACHUSETTS – DECEMBER 4: Employees from a Radian Generation’s operations and maintenance team change out a faulty solar inverter along a row of solar panels December 4, 2017 at the family-owned Knowlton Farm in Grafton, Massachusetts. The 3.7 megawatt solar array is owned and operated by BlueWave Solar which feeds the generated electricity to homes and small businesses in nearby municipalities. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

“Not a single coal-fired power plant along the Ohio River will be able to compete on price with new wind and solar power by 2025, according to a new report by energy analysts.

The same is true for every coal plant in a swath of the South that includes the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. They’re part of the 86 percent of coal plants nationwide that are projected to be on the losing end of this cost comparison, the analysis found.

The findings are part of a report issued Monday by Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy that shows where the shifting economics of electricity generation may force utilities and regulators to ask difficult questions about what to do with assets that are losing their value.

The report takes a point that has been well-established by other studies—that coal power, in addition to contributing to air pollution and climate change, is often a money-loser—and shows how it applies at the state level and plant level when compared with local wind and solar power capacity.”

— Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News 

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