Levelized Cost of Various Types Of Electricity Generation
August 3, 2020
Let's jump in the deep end!
LCOE (levelized cost of energy) is a useful measure to compare the lifetime cost per kilowatt-hour of various sources of electricity. There are a ton of assumptions that go into calculating the LCOE. Lazard for the past several years has published its analysis of the the LCOE's of various technology and most in the industry accept Lazard's methodology. In other words, folks accept Lazard's assumptions as being reasonable. The above analysis is excludes subsidies that a technology might receive, such as investment tax credits and production tax credits that have primarily gone to the solar and wind industries recently (although they are being phased out, subject to lobbying and Congress).
Noteworthy to me in the chart are the lines for Solar PV - Thin Film Utility Scale and for Wind in comparison to the line for Coal.
Yes, folks, solar and wind can provide low-cost electricity.
And yes, solar and wind must be part of a portfolio of electricity generating sources to assure we can turn on our lights 24/7.
We're all counting on my friend Steve to drive down the LCOE for nuclear power plants.
The full Lazard report is available at https://www.lazard.com/media/450784/lazards-levelized-cost-of-energy-version-120-vfinal.pdf.