“Preston said that right now, coal is more expensive than natural gas, wind or solar in many parts of the country. So when demand slows, coal plants are the first to shut down.
In fact, over three days earlier this month, wind and solar actually produced more electricity than coal in the U.S., the first time that has happened, according to a new research note from the Rhodium Group. … The industry’s problems weigh on people like James Starcher. He works at Contura Energy’s Cumberland mine, where 46 miners were laid off last week. … Analysts say there could be more layoffs, bankruptcies and shutdowns this year. And if coal-fired power plants decide to retire early, then the damage inflicted by the coronavirus on the industry could leave a permanent mark.”