How to waste over half a trillion dollars: The economic implications of deflationary renewable energy for coal power investments

16th March 2020 by Emma Goring

Coal developers risk wasting more than $600 billion because it is already cheaper to generate electricity from new renewables than from new coal plants in all major markets.

Coal has long been considered the least-cost option for power generation throughout the world. This narrative is quickly changing as a confluence of factors are disrupting coal’s pre-eminence. Most notably, low-cost renewable energy, which will soon be cheaper to build than to run coal plants.

Policymakers need to stop new investments in coal power immediately and redesign power market regulation to minimise stranded asset risk accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

Key findings:

  • New investments in renewables are cheaper than new investments coal in all major markets today.
  • Over half of coal plants operating today cost more to run than building new renewables.
  • It could be cheaper to build renewables than run coal in all major markets by 2030.
  • Governments and investors should cancel coal power projects or will waste $600 bn in capital costs.

Download the full report here: http://bit.ly/Coal_waste