Over the past decade, plans for 160 new coal-fired power plants in the
United States have been scrapped, largely due to rising costs and an
inability to compete in today’s energy markets. While the United States is
still dependent on coal for about half of our electricity, today growth is in
low-carbon sources, renewable energy and efficiency.
This is because once “expensive” clean energy costs have fallen
dramatically while “cheap” fossil fuels are increasingly expensive in
economic, health and environmental terms. As a result, in many parts of
the world, wind is the least-cost source of electricity. In addition, in the
sunniest parts of the United States long-term forecasts are for growth in solar energy and natural gas, but not for coal.
The clean-versus-dirty debate is also playing out in Europe’s poorest
nation, Kosovo, which suffers hours of power outages each day, and which
is well endowed with a particularly dirty form of brown coal, lignite. To
some, this seems to mean that Kosovars are wedded to coal for decades to
come. This is where the experience in California, and in the United States
more broadly, is so important.
For more please see the attached article.