America has officially entered the “coal cost crossover” –where existing coal is increasingly more expensive than cleaner alternatives. Today, local wind and solar could replace approximately 74 percent of the U.S. coal fleet at an immediate savings to customers. By 2025, this number grows to 86 percent of the coal fleet.
Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy (24 page analysis) complements existing research into the costs of clean energy undercutting coal costs, by focusing on which coal plants could be replaced locally (within 35 miles of the existing coal plant) at a saving.
Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy suggests local decision-makers should consider plans for a smooth shut-down of these old plants— assessing their options for reliable replacement of that electricity as well as financial options for communities dependent on those plants
Energy Innovation and Vibrant Clean Energy research finds that in 2018, 211 gigawatts (GW) of existing (end of 2017) U.S. coal capacity, or 74 percent of the national fleet, was at risk from local wind or solar that could provide the same amount of electricity more cheaply. By 2025, substantially at risk coal increases to 140 GW – almost half the U.S. fleet – even as federal renewable energy tax credits phase out.