Gallery: Study Finds Renewable Energy is Cheaper than Coal in the US


Photo via Shutterstock

A new study reveals that wind farms are less costly than new coal-fired plants, and cost about the same, if not less, than new natural gas plants. It sounds pretty extraordinary, but if one looks at the cost of warming and health issues caused by carbon emissions, as well as the hazards caused by sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants, the numbers begin to fall sharply in favor of renewable energy.

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  1. Delton Chen September 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    The article is comparing building a new wind farm with a coal plant. But what about the expensive equipment to handle the power intermittency and energy storage? Or was this included?
    It has been argued by some that the first comparison should be between (A1) the wind farm and (A2) the coal. The second comparison should be between (B1) the load levelling and energy storage equipment (of wind) and (B2) the coal power plant. Any thoughts?

  2. Eletruk September 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Scrubbers don’t remove CO2 from coal plant emissions, they remove soot, sulfur and other nasties. So the problem of acid rain and brown air is dealt with locally (or regionally) but the global issue of greenhouse gasses has still not been solved with burning of coal. “Clean coal” (as much of a misnomer as it is) doesn’t mean no CO2, it means most of the dirty is gone. If CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration) is going to be required of coal power (which nobody has been able to do on industrial scale), then the cost of renewable energy is waaaay cheaper than coal.

  3. Vernon Freeck September 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    If we sell coal to other nations don’t the so called pollutant travel the currents, so why can’t we show our tech. on extraction from coal, and our scrubbers that we have in use in industry,

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