A new report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative looks at the costs of coal-fired power plants across the U.S. and offers a glimpse of where those costs stand today.
The report notes that coal has been rising in prices and that it’s going to take a lot of changes to reverse that trend.
The report says that coal plants currently operating today will need to raise prices between $10 and $30 per megawatt-hour to keep them competitive with renewables and other cleaner-burning power sources.
That would be a substantial price hike.
Coal has also seen a rise in coal costs since 2010, but it’s still relatively low compared to other fossil fuels, and the rate of rise has slowed.
The average coal plant currently costs around $100 million to build, and most are being built with a combination of taxpayer subsidies and federal contracts.
The White House estimates that a coal plant will cost $250 million to $300 million to construct.
Coals have been the least expensive energy source in recent decades, and they’re also a major part of the overall power sector.
In 2013, they accounted for nearly 13 percent of U.N. climate change commitments.
The coal industry’s long-term prospects are even dimmer, though, with the industry’s stock prices falling and its financials becoming increasingly gloomy.
The coal industry has struggled to maintain its competitiveness in recent years, and it’s not clear that the new White House regulations will help that situation.
The White House’s announcement comes after a recent report that found that the country was facing a $5 trillion shortfall in renewable energy.