Clean Energy

According to recent information from the Energy Information Administration, the cost of delivered coal to Nebraska power-plants continued to climb in 2011.

Through October, 2011, the average cost of coal delivered to Nebraska utilities cost $1.53 per million Btu. That reflects a 9.3% increase from the $1.40 per million Btu average cost in 2010.

That cost has more than doubled just since 2005, when the EIA reported an average cost of 71¢ per million Btu. In 2002, the average cost was just 58¢ per million Btu for deliveries to Nebraska power-plants.

The increases since 2002 represent an annual average increase of over 11% in the cost of coal delivered to Nebraska electric utilities.

The increased costs represent higher prices for coal at the mines in Wyoming, higher rail rates to transport the coal, and in some cases longer distances from mine to power-plant.

In contrast, the price of new wind energy is lower today than it was 10 years ago, and new bids for wind farms are even lower. New wind farms are now delivering electricity for around 3.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

Solar photovoltaic energy also continues to fall in price.Recent bids for utility solar energy in California came in at under 9 cents per kilowatt hour. At that price, solar photovoltaic is nearing the price of new coal-fired power-plants and well below new nuclear power-plants.

The Energy Information Administration compiles information on energy use in the USA,including the Electric Power Monthly from which most of this data was drawn.