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The US Needs a Renewable Energy Policy

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  • George M Coladonato
      Thank you for this article, http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/articles/the-us-needs-a-renewable-energy-policy/ ... Thank you for this article,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 11, 2013
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      Increased energy efficiency also must be addressed.
      Reducing our dependence on fossil fuel has many advantages. We have access to great renewable energy in southern California and these should be developed responsibility. Following is a study on the cost of energy.
       

      US Department of Energy estimates

      The tables below list the estimated cost of electricity by source for plants entering service in 2017. The tables are from a January 23, 2012 report of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) called "Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012".[10]
      • Total System Levelized Cost (the rightmost column) gives the dollar cost per megawatt-hour that must be charged over time in order to pay for the total cost. Divide by 1000 to get the cost per kilowatt-hour (move the decimal point 1 place to the left to get the cost in cents/kWh).
      These calculations reflect an adjustment to account for the high level of carbon dioxide produced by coal plants. From the EIA report:
      "a 3-percentage point increase in the cost of capital is added when evaluating investments in greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive technologies like coal-fired power and coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants without carbon control and sequestration (CCS). While the 3-percentage point adjustment is somewhat arbitrary, in levelized cost terms its impact is similar to that of a $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fee. ... As a result, the levelized capital costs of coal-fired plants without CCS are higher than would otherwise be expected."[10]
      No tax credits or incentives are incorporated in the tables. From the EIA report (emphasis added):
      "Levelized cost represents the present value of the total cost of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle, converted to equal annual payments and expressed in terms of real dollars to remove the impact of inflation. Levelized cost reflects overnight capital cost, fuel cost, fixed and variable O&M cost, financing costs, and an assumed utilization rate for each plant type. The availability of various incentives including state or federal tax credits can also impact the calculation of levelized cost. The values shown in the tables below do not incorporate any such incentives."[10]
      Incentives, tax credits, production mandates, etc. are discussed in the overall comprehensive EIA report: "Annual Energy Outlook 2012".[11][12][13]
      Photovoltaics (solar PV) can be used both by distributed residential or commercial users and utility scale power plants. The costs shown are for utility scale photovoltaic power plants.[10]
       
       
       
      Estimated Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, 2017[10]
      U.S. Average Levelized Cost for Plants Entering Service in 2017
      (2010 USD/MWh)
      Plant Type
      Capacity
      Factor
      (%)
      Levelized
      Capital
      Cost
      Fixed
      O&M
      Variable
      O&M
      (including
      fuel)
      Transmission
      Investment
      Total
      System
      Levelized
      Cost
      Conventional Coal
      85
      65.8
      4.0
      28.6
      1.2
      99.6
      Advanced Coal
      85
      75.2
      6.6
      29.2
      1.2
      112.2
      Advanced Coal with CCS
      85
      93.3
      9.3
      36.8
      1.2
      140.7
      Natural Gas Fired
      Conventional Combined Cycle
      87
      17.5
      1.9
      48.0
      1.2
      68.6
      Advanced Combined Cycle
      87
      17.9
      1.9
      44.4
      1.2
      65.5
      Advanced CC with CCS
      87
      34.9
      4.0
      52.7
      1.2
      92.8
      Conventional Combustion Turbine
      30
      46.0
      2.7
      79.9
      3.6
      132.0
      Advanced Combustion Turbine
      30
      31.7
      2.6
      67.5
      3.6
      105.3
      Advanced Nuclear
      90
      88.8
      11.3
      11.6
      1.1
      112.7
      Geothermal
      92
      76.6
      11.9
      9.6
      1.5
      99.6
      Biomass
      83
      56.8(MC(Yi=0)=*26.5)
      13.8
      48.3
      1.3
      120.2
      Wind1
      34
      83.3
      9.7
      0.0
      3.7
      96.8
      Wind — Offshore1
      27
      300.6
      22.4
      0.0
      7.7
      330.6
      Solar PV1,2
      25
      144.9
      7.7
      0.0
      4.2
      156.9
      Solar Thermal1
      20
      204.7
      40.1
      0.0
      6.2
      251.0
      Hydro1
      53
      76.9
      4.0
      6.0
      2.1
      89.9
      1Non-dispatchable (Hydro is dispatchable within a season, but nondispatchable overall-limited by site and season)
      2Costs are expressed in

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