Relative / comparative costs of wind energy, nuclear energy, hydro power, coal power, natural gas, geothermal energy, and biomass
Latest update: March 30th 2011:
Cost of wind, nuclear and gas powered generation in the UK
The relative generation costs of the principal energy sources in the UK are a source of constant debate. There are numerous ways of approaching the issue. In the following feature, David Milborrow* sets out to compare generation costs from coal, gas, onshore and offshore wind and nuclear using realistic inputs for plant, fuel and operation and maintenance costs, both for now and for 2020. It suggests there is little to choose between gas, coal and onshore wind in either case.
This paper can be downloaded from here: http://www.claverton-energy.com/?dl_id=407
California Energy Commission reports give costs for power generation from different sources:
US generating costs in May 2008, from the California Energy Commission
David Millborrow’s ( an ex CEGB engineer Central Electricity Generating Board) ) paper on wind costs gives comparative costs ( This link takes you to the file library – look for…….. David Millborrows paper on wind costs » 157.1 KiB – 1,786 hits – 28 March 2009
It is claimed that inherently renewables are on a decreasing cost curve, while non-renewables are on an increasing cost curve.
AN EU ENERGY SECURITY AND SOLIDARITY ACTION PLAN –gives a detailed cost breakdown of many technologies.
A paper by Professor David Elliot give various cost comparisoin summaries. For space reasons the paper is in two sections, the cost data is tin the second link ( Relative costs of renewable energy and other power generation) and ( relative costs of power generation and other generation 2) in the Claverton Library, section Energy Data and Statistics
In general it can be seen that there is not a lot to choose between the cost of wind energy, and coal, gas or nuclear.s
PV and CSP are considerably more expensive however.
DECC / BERR equivalent at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file32014.pdf