Gaining a better understanding of the risks and economic benefits of transitioning from coal to clean energy is essential. To do so, Energy Innovation Policy & Technology conducted an analysis of the cost of new renewable energy and battery resources compared to coal generation. The results showed that 99% of coal-fired power plants are more expensive to operate than the total cost of new wind or solar resources in the same region, and 97% are more expensive than wind or solar plants within 30 miles. The market price of energy includes the cost of exploration, recovery, refining, pollution control, distribution and transportation of energy resources, as well as taxes and other fees.
When taking into account the external costs associated with non-renewable energy sources, it becomes clear that renewable energy sources are often more cost-effective. To ensure that renewable resources can compete fairly with fossil fuels, regulators should encourage utility companies to use IRA loan programs to pay for clean resources and allow competitive contracting, as Hawaii has done. In Nebraska, renewable resources covered 23 percent of the state's energy consumption. To meet consumer demand for renewable energy and address resource adequacy challenges, it is essential to build new wind and solar resources quickly enough. Regulators and system operators should also reform methods for assessing the reliability and adequacy of resources so that they fairly reflect the reliability value of new resources. The cost of non-renewable energy sources in Omaha, Nebraska is higher than that of renewable sources.
To ensure a successful transition from coal to clean energy, it is important for regulators to encourage utility companies to use loan programs to pay for clean resources and allow competitive contracting. Additionally, system operators should reform methods for assessing the reliability and adequacy of resources so that they accurately reflect the value of new resources. By making these changes, Omaha can benefit from lower costs associated with renewable energy sources while also reducing its environmental impact.