Coal power plants in the US have been retiring at an average clip of 10 gigawatts per year as the clean energy transition takes hold. That may sound impressive, but it’s not nearly quick enough, considering that climate change is already buffeting the Earth. The pace has to pick up quickly in order to avoid more catastrophe. That’s where a new thing called solar-for-coal swaps comes in. The “swap” part is a bit complicated, but if the idea catches hold it could speed up coal power plant retirements and skim more than 20 gigawatts right off the top. The clean energy transition could rev up to lightening speed if the innovative “solar for coal” swap catches on (photo by US Department of Energy, EERE). The Clean Energy Transition: Coal Power Plants Ripe For Picking In a new white paper, the clean energy group Energy Innovation has identified some low hanging coal fruit, in the form of 179 gigawatts that can’t compete on cost with solar any more. These coal units are still operating for various reasons even though solar saves money, but Energy Innovation has picked out a group of 22.5 gigawatts that could be rolled over in short […]


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