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Expand chart
Data: Energy Innovation; Map: Michelle McGhee/Axios

All but one of Colorado's seven coal power plants are less cost effective than wind and solar power, according to an analysis from environmental firm Energy Innovation.

Why it matters: If other power sources are cheaper, it means utility customers in Colorado are overpaying.

  • The emissions from coal power plants also contribute to climate change, and the state is well behind its goals for reductions.

The big picture: 72% of existing U.S. coal capacity and 80% 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," the report notes.

  • Two plants near Colorado Springs, the Martin Drake Power Plant and the Ray Nixon Power Plant, will close in 2023 and 2030, respectively.
  • Xcel Energy, the state's largest utility, is also committing to closing coal plants in the coming decade.

Be smart: Consumers will shoulder the burden for the costs of closing to meet emissions targets, which for Xcel totals an estimated $1.4 billion.

  • In addition, one reason renewable energy is cheaper is current federal tax credits.

The intrigue: The exception to cheaper renewable options is Xcel's Comanche 3 plant in Pueblo. And it's proving to be a sticking point in negotiations at the state Capitol regarding tougher climate change measures.

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Climate advocates are set up for an anxious summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Infrastructure talks between the White House and Congress have entered a phase that's making climate advocates extremely nervous.

Why it matters: Environmental groups and even some Democratic lawmakers are increasingly vocal with their fears that the White House will jettison central components of President Biden's climate plan during the talks, which could cause the U.S. to fall short of its new emissions targets.

Updated Jun 16, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on reinventing the energy grid

On Wednesday, June 16, Axios climate and energy reporter Andrew Freedman and energy reporter Ben Geman took a look at energy resilience and the electric grid, featuring Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), New York Power Authority President & CEO and GridWise Alliance Chair Gil C. Quiniones and GridWise Alliance CEO Karen G. Wayland.

Sen. Martin Heinrich discussed how policymakers can make a difference in creating a resilient and accessible energy grid.

  • On the need to invest in a grid that will support future generations: "We really need to reinvest in our grid. It needs to be much more robust because we're going to actually have a lot more electricity on the grid 10 years from now than we do now."
  • On improving accessibility through point of sale rebates: "Shifting from [tax credits] to point of sale rebates is a really important way of how we get at this and do it broadly across the economy, and make sure that average and even low-income people can make these changes, whereas tax credits tend to incentivize the top of the market."

New York Power Authority President & CEO and GridWise Alliance Chair Gil C. Quiniones and GridWise Alliance CEO Karen G. Wayland hosted a joint segment where they discussed both state and federal level initiatives to improve energy infrastructure.

  • Gil C. Quiniones on progress made in New York state: "We're applying smart grid technologies...to make the grid more resilient, more flexible and to integrate renewables into our power system. We're also working with our customers to decarbonize their operations [and] energy efficiency."
  • Karen G. Wayland on President Biden's approach to clean energy: "I think it was quite smart of the president to have his climate policy revolve around investments in infrastructure because once that money goes out into the economy, it's durable policy. We build equipment, we deploy technologies and those will help address climate goals...It's not something that can be rolled back."

Axios Vice President of Communications Yolanda Brignoni hosted a View from the Top Segment with GE Digital Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Colin Parris, who discussed how to create and maintain a stable energy grid.

  • "One aspect of the grid is that the grid is a shared ecosystem...Because it's a shared ecosystem, you have to have shared responsibility. You've got to bring together the people who create the equipment on the grid, people who build software for the grid, government agencies who write the policies, investors who invest in the markets that make the grid."

Thank you GE for sponsoring this event.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

โ›ณ๏ธ: Golfer Bryson DeChambeau will miss Olympics after testing positive for COVID

๐Ÿ“บ: The Olympic events to watch today

๐ŸŠ: Athlete spotlight โ€” When to watch swimming star Katie Ledecky

๐Ÿฅ‹: Iranian defector defeats Iranian in taekwondo

๐Ÿค–: The robot Olympics

๐Ÿšจ: Heat wave brings scorching temperatures to Tokyo Olympics

๐ŸŽค: Meet the new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage