A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

A comparative analysis of electricity generation costs from renewable, fossil fuel and nuclear sources in G20 countries for the period 2015-2030

Publication Details
Authors: Ram Manish, Child Michael, Aghahosseini Arman, Bogdanov Dmitrii, Lohrmann Alena, Breyer Christian
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Journal of Cleaner Production
Journal acronym: JCP
Volume number: 199
Start page: 687
End page: 704
Number of pages: 18
ISSN: 0959-6526
eISSN: 1879-1786
JUFO-Level of this publication: 2
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


Despite the positive momentum
achieved by the renewable energy sector in recent years, there are substantial
challenges that need the attention of the global community, and one of the more
pressing issues is dealing with the deleterious external costs of power
generation. One of the parameters to compare costs of energy across various
technologies is levelised cost of energy (LCOE), but it has been conventional
practice to neglect the external costs in estimating the LCOE of power
generation technologies. Furthermore, as LCOE is a critical indicator for
policy and decision makers, there is a need to juxtapose actual costs of
renewable and conventional power generation technologies. This research paper
attempts to internalise some of these external and GHG emission costs across
various power generation and storage technologies in all the G20 countries, as
they account for 85% of global power consumption. As future investment
decisions are largely influenced by costs, estimates in this research prove
renewables and storage to be far cheaper than fossil and nuclear sources by
2030, even without considering external costs. The myth that renewables are
‘way too expensive’ has been debunked repeatedly, and the cost decline of wind
and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies have outpaced most industry
expectations. The results of this research not only substantiate this trend,
but also statistically display that all the G20 countries have the opportunity
to decrease their energy costs significantly, between now and 2030. Renewable
energy technologies offer the lowest LCOE ranges across G20 countries in 2030.
Utility-scale solar PV generally shows the lowest values ranging from16 to 117
€/MWhel and onshore wind LCOE range is from16 to 90 €/MWhel.
Rooftop solar PV generally offers the next lowest LCOE ranging from 31 to 126
€/MWhel, followed by LCOE of offshore wind power ranging from 64 to
135 €/MWhel. Solar PV and battery systems are highly competitive on
an LCOE basis at utility-scale ranging from 21 to 165 €/MWhel and at
residential scale from 40 to 204 €/MWhel.

Last updated on 2019-13-03 at 12:00