Recent research from Energy Innovation showed a staggering 80 percent of the existing U.S. coal fleet costs more to operate than replacement by local wind and solar projects. This raises the interlocked question of how our country can transition off expensive and dirty coal power, and what policymakers can do to ensure the communities and workers who depend on coal are not left behind when these uneconomic plants close down.
Our coal analysis provides a local economic view, but recent research by UC Berkeley, Energy Innovation, and GridLab shows the grid can function affordably and reliably if we replaced all coal-fired power with new wind, solar, and batteries. A federal Clean Electricity Standard targeting 80 percent clean energy by 2030 would help the U.S. transition from coal to clean energy, stimulate economic growth, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in every region of the country – without compromising grid reliability or consumer costs.
Join Energy Innovation’s Power Sector Team for a deep dive into the current cost dynamics between coal and clean energy, and the benefits of an ambitious federal clean electricity standard.