Monday, June 6, 2016

Finance: Economic Competitiveness of Geothermal and Other Electricity Generation Technologies

EIA publishes construction cost information for electric power generators (EIA)

Many factors influence the economic competitiveness of electricity generation technologies; however, two fundamental factors are the cost of constructing generators and the cost of operating them. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently began collecting construction costs for new electric generators at utility-scale power plants. The publication released today covers generators installed in 2013 and includes average costs by technology type or region. EIA expects to publish 2014 construction cost information in August 2016 and 2015 information in October 2016.

Industry reports and other EIA publications have included various estimates of electricity generation technology capital costs, but this is the first time EIA has collected and reported actual construction costs, which include capital and financing costs, for all new generators. Government grants, tax benefits, or other incentives are excluded from these costs. Because the data are business-sensitive and protected, the analysis presents averaged costs for select groupings and excludes certain generation technologies to avoid disclosure of individual company data. The reported costs reflect a snapshot of market prices for generation technologies at the time the projects were developed and built.