The economics of building a coal plant

Carbon Tracker, a UK based website I’ve been following of late, shared a useful graphic about the costs of coal versus renewable energy.

Coal has always been considered the cheapest source of power generation. And, as a result, the debate about whether to regulate coal plants has involved a lot of political back and forth in the past decade.

But, as the Carbon Tracker team points out, over half of the coal power plants today cost more to run than building a new renewable power plant. At the rate at which this progress is being made, low-cost renewable energy generation is expected to be cheaper than coal everywhere in a decade.

There are no incentives more powerful than monetary ones in shifting behavior.