Skip to main content

EPRI Cost Analysis on Energy Technologies

The Electric Power Research Institute has a report out that compares the costs of fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables.

The Integrated Generation Technology Options report provides an executive-level overview of near-term (5 – 10 years) as well as longer term (2025) electricity generation technology costs and performance. The purpose of this document is to provide a public domain reference for industry executives, policy makers, and other stakeholders. This report is based on 2010 EPRI research results and updates the Integrated Generation Technology Options report  published in November 2009.

The key numbers can be found in the two tables pasted below which are on pages 1-11 and 1-12. The first table shows the estimated costs of each technology in 2015, the second table shows the estimated costs in 2025. All dollars are inflated to the year 2010.

The important numbers to look at are the LCOE in the right column which stands for Levelized Cost of Electricity. The LCOE includes the costs for capital, fuel, and operations and maintenance (it accounts for nearly all costs of a facility’s life).

image

image

As shown in both tables, nuclear’s levelized costs are estimated to range from $76-$87/MWh. In the 2015 table, the cost ranges that are lower than nuclear are coal and natural gas. Some biomass and onshore wind are competitive but offshore wind and solar don’t look like are in the game quite yet without major incentives.

In the 2025 table, EPRI assumes carbon capture is available for coal and natural gas which adds a bit to their capital and levelized costs. The cost ranges for nuclear, biomass and wind stay mostly the same. And it looks like the range for concentrating solar thermal becomes more competitive.

To add a number of qualifiers to the results, here’s EPRI on page v:

Planning for new U.S. power generation is in a state of flux due to uncertainty associated with recovery of recession-driven declines in electricity consumption, the impacts of anticipated regulations on existing generation, and potential future climate policy. U. S. electricity consumption began to recover in 2010 after back-to-back declines in 2008 and 2009 due to the economic crisis. However, the electric sector continues to feel the impacts of the recession from high unemployment rates, slow recovery of the industrial sector, and tighter credit markets. Anticipated environmental regulations may have significant impacts on existing generation including substantial capital investment in environmental controls retrofits and retirement of older, less-efficient generating stations. Longer-term implications of potential future U.S. climate legislation continue to be a factor in integrated resource planning.

And who said planning for the future would be easy?

Comments

Alan said…
I get a download error when I click on your link to the report.
David Bradish said…
Thx, should be fixed now.

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…