Tuesday, September 25, 2012

[biofuelwatch] PQ: UK Govt data on cost per mW WITHOUT SUBSIDY for various energy sources including biomass

Data in Annex D of http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/consultation/ro-banding/5936-renewables-obligation-consultation-the-government.pdf


Energy: Electricity
House of Lords

Photo of Lord Moonie

Lord Moonie (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the average costs without subsidies used for planning purposes per megawatt hour of electricity generated from (1) existing, and (2) new, (a) nuclear power stations, (b) onshore wind farms, (c) offshore wind farms, (d) gas-fired power stations, (e) coal-fired power stations, and (f) bio-mass fired power stations.

Lord Newby (Liberal Democrat)

DECC has published estimates of the future costs of various generation technologies on the DECC website. The most recent estimates can be found in the reports highlighted below:

Annex D of the 'Government response to the consultation on proposals for the levels of banded support under the Renewables Obligation for the period 2013-17 and the Renewables Obligation Order 2012' contains the latest levelised cost estimates for selected renewable technologies: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/consultation/ro-banding/5936-renewables-obligation-consultation-the-government.pdf ;a report by Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) (2011) contains the latest levelised cost estimates for selected non-renewable technologies: www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/about us/economics-social-research/2127-electricity-generation-cost-model-2011.pdf.

For ease of reference, Table I below replicates levelised cost estimates for projects starting in 2011 and 2017 for selected technologies using a simplified assumption of 10% discount rate across technologies to aid high level comparison between technologies.

Table 1: Indicative Levelised Cost Estimates for Selected Electricity Generation Technologies

2010 prices Source Projects starting in 2011, £/MWh Projects starting in 2017, £/MWh
CCGT PB Power (2011) 77 88
Coal 95 117
Nuclear 74 65
Onshore Wind>5 MW* RO Banding Review Government response (2012) 101 98
Offshore R2 Wind 126 115
Offshore R3 146 130
Dedicated Biomass >50MW 118 117
Dedicated Biomass (0-50MW) 113 112

NB: All estimates are for 'Nth of a Kind' (NOAK) projects except nuclear where the first estimate for projects starting in 2011 is based on 'first of a kind' estimate and the estimate for projects starting in 2017 is based on a 'nth of a kind' estimate. *The estimate for onshore wind is for England and Wales only. Cost estimates for RO Banding review (2012) are in £2010/11 financial year prices.

These levelised costs estimates are highly sensitive to the assumptions used including those on discount rates (for simplicity the table above uses the same discount rate for all technologies as opposed to technology specific discount rates), capital costs, fuel and EU ETS allowance prices, operating costs, and load factor. It should be noted that the estimates shown above are indicative estimates of levelised costs and given the uncertainties it is often more appropriate to consider a range of cost estimates.

DECC does not have estimates for the average costs per megawatt hour of electricity generated from existing stations.


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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