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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New analysis from the firm Energy Innovation finds that building new U.S. wind and solar power generation is very often more cost-effective than continuing to run existing coal-fired power plants.

The big picture: "[Seventy-two] percent of existing U.S. coal capacity and 80 percent of existing U.S. coal plants are either more costly to continue operating compared to building new nearby wind or solar plants, or are slated to retire in the next four years," a summary of the "coal crossover" report notes.

Overall, the firm finds that 182 coal plants are uneconomic or slated to shut down in the next half-decade.

The intrigue: New wind and solar projects currently receive federal tax credits, so we wondered how much of new wind and solar's economic edge relies on those incentives.

  • Co-author Eric Gimon, in an email, notes that their analysis found that of those 182 coal plants, 45-50 would be "economic" in their analysis absent those renewables tax credits.

Yes, but: He added that it's likely that "every plant in the data set would fail our economic filter if the full cost of heath impacts and GHG emissions was factored in."

  • "I suspect that as time goes on, federal subsidies will have less and less impact (as they diminish and renewables continue to get cheaper) on the energy-cost comparison between coal and renewables," Gimon notes.

Go deeper

California energy commission mandates solar panels for new buildings

A person carrying a solar panel into a home in a home in Alamo, California, in May 2017. Photo: Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The California Energy Commission voted Wednesday to require solar panels and battery energy storage systems in new commercial buildings and certain multifamily residences beginning in 2023, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's an aggressive step in California's transition away from fossil fuels and broader drive to cut carbon emissions, although the provision must first be approved by the state's Building Standards Commission.

Trump voices support for Saturday's pro-Capitol riots rally

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Thursday expressed solidarity with people facing prosecution in connection to the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The statement was issued ahead of Saturday's rally to protest the treatment of Capitol rioters. Over 600 known federal defendants face charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.