Full Title: Are Existing Coal Plants Less Expensive Than New Gas, Wind or Solar?
Author(s): America’s Power
Publisher(s): America’s Power ACCCE
Publication Date: 08/2018
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The nation’s mix of electricity resources is changing rapidly. One of the major
changes is the retirement of a large number of coal-fired power plants across the
nation (43 states, to be precise). So far, almost 40 percent of the coal fleet has
retired or announced plans to retire. But does it make sense economically to
continue retiring even more coal-fired power plants?
This paper illustrates one of the economic advantages of existing coal-fired power
plants compared to new sources of electricity. This is important because most
people are likely to assume that new sources of electricity (gas, wind and solar)
must be cheaper; otherwise, why would utilities retire existing coal-fired power
plants? However, this assumption is not necessarily correct.