Coal, Solar or Wind - Which is More Expensive?
A new study has just been undertaken which identifies the most expensive source of electricity for American Households. And you may be surprised at the answer.
Results have shown that approximately three-quarters of coal production in the United States of America is more expensive than both solar and wind in providing a source of electricity. Finally some good news!
Researchers used information publicly available, such as company financial filings and data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), to come to such a conclusion. Limiting their data to a 35-mile radius, they determined that 211 GW (gigawatts) of current US coal capacity (74% of the coal fleet) is providing electricity that’s more expensive than wind or solar.
Why is coal more expensive?
New Government legislation and growing climate change publicity have put pressure on coal plants to minimise pollution - increasing their running costs. This runs parallel with technology advances which have made wind and solar much more cost-effective.
What does the future look like?
Well, by 2025, the situation is said to become even more prominent. Mike O’Boyle, co-author of the study, suggests almost completely replacing coal with wind and solar. This is as a result of the entire US coal system being unable to compete on a cost-by-cost basis with the renewable energy sources, even when including the construction costs for new wind turbines and solar panels.
As the Governments of the UK and Germany set to eliminate coal, this report would encourage the US to pave the way with similar plans. Hopefully the world will also follow suit, and we can make the first step in saving our beautiful planet.