New wind and solar will be cheaper than existing coal and nuclear by the early 2020s


First, the headline numbers. Here are the costs Robo anticipates “early in the next decade”:

  • Unsubsidized new wind: 2.0-2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • Unsubsidized new solar: 3.0-4.0 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • Variable operating costs of existing coal or nuclear plants: 3.5-5.0 cents per kilowatt-hour

If those predictions hold up, it is game over for coal (and nuclear, unless it gets support based on its low carbon emissions, as in New York). No one will ever build another coal plant in America, and the ones still running would likely shut down sooner than scheduled . . .

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