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Report: cleaner energy could be cheaper as well

November 22, 2011

Americans would probably see lower, rather than higher, electricity costs by 2020 if the United States adopted a long-term strategy to replace coal-fired electricity with energy efficiency initiatives and renewable resources, according to a new report from Synapse Energy Economics commissioned by the nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI).

Titled “Toward a Sustainable Future for the U.S. Power Sector: Beyond Business as Usual 2011,” the new Synapse/CSI report outlines economic benefits such as dramatic reductions in health costs ($450 billion) and roughly 3.1 million new jobs created by the construction and operation of new power plants from sustainable sources, in addition to environmental advantages.

Synapse Energy Economics President Bruce Biewaldsaid, “Information has emerged over the past year suggesting that the cost of replacing coal with clean energy is falling. The current and projected price of coal has increased, and the price of photovoltaic systems has fallen sharply since 2009, a result of unprecedented growth in this sector globally. Further, the financial community is placing higher risk premiums on technologies with carbon emissions, making renewable energy and efficiency more attractive.”