Coal Plant Developers Could Be Wasting Billions By Not Switching To Renewables
It may be cheaper to generate electricity by building new renewable sites than to run existing coal-fired power stations by 2030.
Coal plant developers could be wasting hundreds of billions of pounds as new renewable power facilities are now cheaper.
In all major markets including the US, Europe, China, India, and Australia, it already costs less to generate power from installing new wind or solar farms than new coal plants, according to a study by think tank Carbon Tracker.
And it could be cheaper to generate electricity by building new renewable facilities than to run existing coal-fired power stations in all markets by 2030, the researchers predict.
Already, four-fifths (82%) of the UK’s remaining 12 gigawatts of operating coal power costs more than new renewables, Carbon Tracker said.
Across the world, some 60% of the existing coal plants are generating electricity at a higher cost than the cost of power produced from building and running new renewable schemes, the latest report from the organization said.
Carbon Tracker is urging governments and investors to cancel the vast amount of coal projects announced, permitted or under construction around the world – or waste $638bn (£495bn) in capital investment.
Matt Gray, Carbon Tracker co-head of power and utilities and co-author of the report, said: “Renewables are out-competing coal around the world and proposed coal investments risk becoming stranded assets which could lock in high-cost coal power for decades.
“The market is driving the low-carbon energy transition, but governments aren’t listening.
“It makes economic sense for governments to cancel new coal projects immediately and progressively phase out existing plants.”
In China, which is home to half the word’s coal generation, seven out of 10 plants already operating cost more to run than building new solar and wind farms.
In the face of suggestions China is planning to approve new coal plants in the near future, Carbon Tracker urged the country to deploy its stimulus capital “efficiently and avoid investing in coal power which is economically redundant and environmentally disastrous”.