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DECC has published information related to capital costs and installation costs of various renewable electricity generation technologies—a report by Arup for DECC on the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable technologies in the UK:
http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/consultation/ro-banding/3237-cons-ro-banding-arup-report.pdf and the renewables obligation (RO) banding review consultation document, which can be downloaded from our website at
DECC has updated estimates for the underlying costs of solar PV as part of the Government response to Phase 2A comprehensive review of feed in tariffs, which can be found at:
The following table replicates information that can be found in the above reports(1), and shows central estimates for selected technologies for projects starting in 2011(2) and 2017 using a 10% discount rate.
Further estimates for other technologies can be found in the cited reports.
(1) Please note that while the update of solar PV report did not include levelised cost calculations, the underlying published data has been used to calculated a solar PV levelised cost presented in the above table.
(2) Please note “project start” indicates the start of pre-development work (including consent) for the project prior to final investment decision and commissioning.
|Table 1: Central levelised cost estimates for selected electricity generation technologies|
|Projects starting in 2011, £/MWh||Projects starting in 2017, £/MWh|
|Onshore Wind 5 MW >||90||88|
|Offshore R2 Wind||123||106|
|Dedicated Biomass >50MW||145||143|
|(1) The Solar PV figure is for projects starting in 2012 Note: Please note all data is in £2010 prices. Source: Arup/EY (2011), PB (2012).|
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 emissions trading scheme allowance prices, operating costs, load factor, discount rate and other drivers and this means that there is significant uncertainty around these estimates. It is perhaps more appropriate to consider a range of cost estimates as pipeline projects show a large range around these central values (set out in more detail in the above reports).
Updated levelised costs for renewable electricity will be published in the Government response to the RO banding review consultation.
The cost of renewable heat is sensitive to many variables. The load factor, building type, size, geology and counterfactual fuel type all impact on the cost. A full account of DECC’s data can be found in the NERA/AEA report at this link:
The table in Annex A outlines the levelised cost per MWh of heat for technologies expected to be installed under Phase I of the renewable heat incentive (RHI). The total resource cost is the additional price paid by society for each unit of renewable heat. DECC is currently updating cost estimates for renewable heat, which are expected to be published in autumn.
Central estimates of the £/MWh production costs for 1st generation crop-derived biofuels are given in the following table. These cost estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty, most notably assumptions around future agricultural commodity prices.
|£/MWh central estimates of biofuel production costs, 2010 prices|