Within four short years, about 80% of U.S. coal plants will either shut down or operate with sky-high costs that exceed the expenses of a clean energy plant such as solar.

Research from Energy Innovation: Policy & Technology reports an acceleration to clean energy technology use. Competitive prices and cost-saving efficiencies are two big reasons why.

In the United States, there are about 230 coal plants, 80% of which are nearing their end of life and are not economically practical. The dramatic decline to traditional energy generation is a testament to the power and affordability of solar technology and other sustainable clean energy at all levels, including large-scale commercial projects and at-home energy solutions.

On the other hand, coal plants are losing their grip on maintaining high levels of production, which is eating up their profits.

Simply put, coal plants are losing steam because the costs for solar energy continue to fall at a much faster rate. As a result, the investment for the lifetime benefits of solar plants continue to beat the competition. The all-in costs of solar energy means customers can enjoy a lifetime of savings, and then some.

Demand, storage and reliability considerations are also in play. Solar makes energy generation and storage easy and affordable. And because solar energy is a path toward a cleaner future, there’s even more reason to pick it over traditional utilities.

Residential and commercial customers can enjoy even greater savings through the solar investment tax credit, which was recently extended at the federal level.

Since its enactment in 2006, U.S. solar technology and installations have grown by more than 10,000%. Over the years, the tax credit has created jobs and injected billions of dollars into the economy. But most of all, it’s made solar energy accessible and affordable to more people.

In 2021, the tax credit is 26% for both residential and commercial projects, including larger utility. Solar customers may claim the credit again in 2022 for 25%. The rate is reduced over the next couple of years and will phase out unless renewed.

The tax break is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes and is based on the amount invested in the solar project. Individuals who buy solar-ready homes may also qualify for a tax break.

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