According to a recent study by Europe’s Photon Consulting called “The True Cost of Solar Power” - that’s what is predicted across Europe by the end of the decade! The costs of materials and installations for solar systems are expected to drop significantly as the technology becomes better and more widespread, making solar clearly a smarter choice environmentally, but also economically than coal.
And the costs of continuing with dirty, polluting, toxic coal? Well, we know that the “cost” of coal doesn’t factor in the lives lost from mining accidents, toxic poisoning from mercury, habitat loss from mountain-top removal, the water poisoned from toxic slurries, or environmental destruction from acid rain and global warming. The market-based cost of coal will only get more expensive as we near Peak Coal. As looming regulations (i.e. some sort of cap-and-trade system) addressing C02 pollution grow more likely, even using conservative estimates for the market costs of C02 show coal to be a bad investment.
-Predictions that solar electricity will cost $0.18/kWh in Germany, $0.13 in California and $0.12/kWh in Spain by 2010
-Expectations that industry leaders could bring that price down to $0.10/kWh, equivalent to the retail cost of electricity from a new coal-fired power plant.
-With costs between $.10 and $.15/kWh, the cost of solar will below the price of grid electricity for at least 50% of OECD residential demand.
-Greenhouse gas emissions from proposed new coal-fired power plants: 1.2 billion tons per year
-Greenhouse gas emissions from potential new solar-powered installation: 0 tons per year.
So why do we have ~150 coal-fired plants being proposed in the US alone? Why do corporations like Massey, Arch and Peabody destroy entire mountain ranges, poison our land, and destroy our communities? Why do corporations like TXU, Dynegy, Dominion and others keep trying to lock us in to dirty coal for generations to come?
And why do banks like Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase keep investing in dirty coal power plants rather than in our future?
Help us get Wall Street out of coal. www.DirtyMoney.org