Although coal has long been viewed as the cheapest way to power the global economy, this is no longer the case.

New renewable energy is now cheaper than new coal plants virtually everywhere, even before considering coal’s dire health, climate, and environmental impacts. The cost of renewables has fallen so far that it is already cheaper to build new renewable energy capacity, including battery storage, than to continue operating 39 percent of the world’s existing coal capacity.

Based on a new global analysis—by Rocky Mountain Institute, the Carbon Tracker Initiative, and the Sierra Club—of nearly 2,500 coal plants, the share of uncompetitive coal plants worldwide will increase rapidly to 60 percent in 2022 and to 73 percent in 2025.

Replacing the entire global coal fleet with clean energy can be done at a net savings to society as early as 2022.

Replacing uncompetitive coal with clean energy could already save electricity customers around the world $39 billion in 2020, and these annual savings rise quickly to $86 billion in 2022 and $141 billion in 2025.

The report lays out specific financial strategies that utilities and policy-makers can use to engineer a faster phase-out of coal in various regions of the world.