Joe Romm explains that solar and wind now are beating fossil fuel power generation on price without any subsidies, citing recent reports by the UN and Bloomberg.
That’s not surprising to anyone who paid attention. Kees van der Leun predicted this to happen in 2011.
But there is an interesting quote in that article. Romm quotes Micheal Liebreich with this statement:
It’s a whole new world. Instead of having to subsidise renewables, now authorities may have to subsidise natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.
Exactly. If you want to help coal miners and coal companies, you need to introduce a feed-in tariff for coal.
Just like a feed-in tariff helped phase in renewable energy (mostly paid for by Germany back when solar was expensive), now a feed-in tariff is needed to phase out coal in a orderly and responsible way.
Set a minimum price for coal generation. Combine it with a ceiling on how much can be generated each year, and have a long-term reliable plan on how that ceiling is reduced until coal is phased out completely.
That way you can keep present coal miners employed until their retirement age and adjust plans for hiring new ones to the reality of the phase-out plans.
Do the same for gas, and where there is oil generation, for oil.
Renewable energy would indirectly profit from such a phase-out plan as well. Going full speed ahead with the transition to renewable energy is much easier if the fossil fuel industry is on board.