Friday, February 28, 2014

LCOE graphic for solar power

In my last post, I promised I’d update my graphic for the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE).  See below (click for a larger image).  Red denotes solar thermal, blue denotes PV.  Open circles denotes projects that have been announced but not completed to my knowledge.  Filled-in circles denote completed projects.

The LCOE is expressed in US dollars at today’s exchange rates (1 March 2014) with currencies depreciated/appreciated by 1.0175 per annum for the baseline date of 1 January 2015.

I need to sound a note of caution in interpreting this graphic.  When projects are announced, the project price is also announced, and that’s the information I’ve used.  If the project is a small one, then it doesn’t matter much that the opening date for the project is different to the date at which the price is announced.  In some cases, however, the project will take a long time to complete, so it’s inconsistent to use the announced price for the project.  An example is Cerro Dominador, announced in February 2014 and not due to open until mid-2017.  The announced price is in 2014 dollars, whereas the datum on the graphic has been plotted as if the price is in deflated 2017 dollars.  So the results for Cerro Dominador look a bit better than they actually are.

Don’t allow these subtleties to obscure the overall trend, however, which is that solar power is obviously getting cheaper, both for solar thermal and for PV.


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