New wind and solar are cheaper than the costs to operate all but one coal-fired power plant in the United States
(Inside Climate News, 30 Jan 2023) New analysis shows that renewables beat existing coal plants 99 percent of the time, thanks to long-term trends and an assist from the Inflation Reduction Act.
A coal-fired plant near Gillette, Wyoming stands alone in the nation on one measure of economic viability—a positive distinction for that plant, but a damning one for coal-fired electricity in general.
Dry Fork Station, with generating capacity of 405 megawatts, is the only coal plant in the country that costs less to operate than it would take to replace the plant’s output by building new wind or solar plants in the same communities or regions, according to a new reportissued today by the think tank Energy Innovation.
The report joins prior editions in 2019 and 2021 that, when viewed together, show how the economics of coal power are deteriorating. In 2019, the authors found that more than 70 percent of coal plants were more expensive to operate compared to the alternative of building new wind or solar. That share has now grown to 99 percent, with only the plant in Wyoming stopping it from being 100 percent.
The shift is due in large part to the Inflation Reduction Act, signed in August, which has several incentives that make wind and solar less expensive.
Inside Climate News, 30 Jan 2023: New wind and solar are cheaper than the costs to operate all but one coal-fired power plant in the United States