How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phase-Out Feasible and Just
As the urgency of the climate crisis grows, new analysis reveals that coal is no longer the cheapest way to power the global economy. The cost of clean energy has fallen so far that new renewables are now cheaper than new coal plants virtually everywhere, and there are specific financial strategies that utilities and policymakers can use to engineer a faster phase out of coal in various regions of the world. This report estimates that replacing the entire fleet of global coal plants with clean energy plus battery storage could be done at a net annual savings as early as 2022. The rapidly declining costs of renewables push net annual savings to $105 billion in 2025. All this is before considering coal’s dire health, climate, and environmental impacts, or accounting for the social and environmental benefits of reducing pollutants. Currently, coal phase out hasn’t kept pace with eroding economics.