Electricity Generation

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 5th February 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Shadow Minister (Health), Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the price per megawatt hour of electricity generated over the life cycle of proposed new (a) coal, (b) gas, (c) oil, (d) hydroelectric, (e) nuclear and (f) tidal power generating facilities.

Photo of David Kidney David Kidney Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Government have carried out analysis on generation costs in recent years to inform policy decisions. Some of these estimates were published as part of the Energy Review (2006)


More recently the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) have published estimated levelised costs (£/MWh, in 2008 prices) associated with 1 MWh of electricity generated from some technologies, for their December 2008 report

http://www.theccc.org.uk/pdf/TSO-ClimateChange.pdf as set out in the following table and include construction, operation and maintenance costs and where applicable the cost of carbon allowances (EU ETS). Moreover, for nuclear, they also include the costs of decommissioning and waste.

Technology Levelised cost (£/MWh) 2010
Coal fired plant
Coal-central fuel 54
Gas fired plant
CCGT-central fuel 53
Nuclear plant
Nuclear 51

The Committee on Climate Change (2008) "Building a low-carbon economy" p189

Government estimates for the cost of electricity generated from hydroelectric plant were published in the DTI report "Impact of banding the Renewables Obligation-Costs of electricity production" (2007)


Technology -Hydroelectric Levelised cost (£/MWh) 2010
Small scale (.<1.25 MW)-central cost 71
Mid scale (1.25-20 MW)-central cost 63

DTI (2006) "Impact of banding the Renewables Obligation-Costs of electricity production" p32-34

The estimated costs of tidal generation were estimated as part of the response to the consultation on the Renewable Energy Strategy. These are set out as follows:

Technology Capital cost (£/kW)2008 Operating cost (£/kW/year) Availability (percentage)
Tidal stream 2,800-3,800 75-80 30-40

Redpoint Trilemma (2008) "Implementation of EU 2020 Renewable Target in the UK Electricity Sector: Renewable Support Schemes."


Government do not have a recent cost estimate for the price per megawatt hour of electricity generated from oil-fired plant.

It should be noted that the estimates of levelised costs for different types of electricity generation are highly sensitive to the assumptions used for capital costs, fuel and EU ETS allowance prices, operating costs, load factor, and other drivers. In reality, there are large uncertainties and ranges around these figures.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.