Emissions free energy is beating coal and natural gas in the United StatesMay 24, 2018
Report shows that gas-fired power plants will not be able to keep up with clean energy
The coal and oil industries may be experiencing revitalization in the United States, but this may not be enough to be emissions free energy. A new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows that energy generators may be committing consumers and investors to as much as $1 trillion in future investments and fuel costs through 2030 due to a rush in building new gas-fired power facilities. Clean power, however, can provide consumers with less expensive electrical power and deliver more reliable grid services.
Old power plants are nearing their retirement age
The report shows that emissions free energy beats gas-fired power plants in terms of levelized costs. Renewable energy sources are also threatening the profitability of existing coal power plants and this trend is likely to continue well into the future. Fossil-fuels are falling behind partly because of how old the sector’s generation capacity is. The majority of all coal and natural gas generation capacity in the country is over 30 years old. The report predicts that this capacity will reach retirement by 2030, which is when new energy sources will have to take over.
Renewable energy is significantly less expensive than building new gas-fired facilities
New technology and low natural gas prices have lead to a surge in support for fossil-fuels, with utilities and merchant generators planning to invest over $110 billion in building new power plants between now and 2025. The report from the Rocky Mountain Institute predicts that some $500 billion will be needed to replace all aging power plants by 2030, however. This makes clean power a much more attractive option, especially as the cost of new forms of energy continues to plummet.
Clean power can help offset emissions production throughout the country
The report shows that in three out of four cases, an “optimized clean energy portfolio” would cost as much as 60% less than proposed gas-fired power plants. Not only would clean energy be a better option financially, it would also help the United States move closer to achieving its environmental goals. By replacing old coal power plants, clean energy could help remove a significant amount of harmful emissions that these power plants produce on an annual basis.