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Green Energy Becoming More Financially Feasible Than Coal

With rising expenses in fuel and power worldwide, particularly in the United States, the quest for sustainable energy sources has intensified. A significant historical obstacle to this shift has been a financial one, with fossil fuel corporations expressing apprehension that deactivating all their plants and transitioning to renewables would be too costly. However, as per present economic patterns, the contrary is now evident.

As stated in an Energy Innovation study, it is now more costly to maintain coal plants in the United States than to establish and manage an entirely new solar or wind farm in the same locality. Thanks in large part to the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, renewable energy sources are now the financially optimal decision to make.

“Coal is significantly pricier than wind and solar resources, it’s simply no longer economically competitive with renewables,” affirmed Michelle Solomon, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation. “This study definitely challenges the perception that coal is a lasting presence.”

Advocates for fossil fuels have argued that an immediate transition to renewables and retiring coal isn’t secure or realistic, as certain areas might not yet have the infrastructure to uphold such systems. Consequently, this would transfer a financial burden onto consumers. Analysts have acknowledged that an abrupt changeover isn’t viable, but if there ever was a moment to embark on a gradual shift, it would be now.

“We can’t close all these plants overnight; we need to carry out an organized transition to uphold grid stability, but we should be able to do it rather swiftly,” highlighted James Stock, an economist at Harvard University, speaking to The Guardian. “Coal has been on a natural decline due to economics, and those economics will persist; this is a transition that is inevitable.

“Around 50 years ago, the US constructed numerous coal plants due to global energy security concerns. That decision made sense at that time and they played a vital role. However, we now have a better understanding of climate change, so we need to make different choices.”

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