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Directory:Cents Per Kilowatt-Hour

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Energy modality comparison based on projected "cents per kilowatt-hour".


This electricity generation price listing should take into consideration the costs of manufacture, shipping, installation, fuel, maintenance, environmental costs, and decommissioning. Some of the below prices do not weigh the environmental costs.

Electricity generation has both capital costs and ongoing costs. Obtaining a total cost in cents per kilowatt-hour depends on a "discount rate" based on how much money in the present is valued compared to money in the future.

This listing is just a beginning. Many modalities need to be added.

Contents

Comparisons

Special thanks to http://www.coldenergy.com/difference.htm for permission to use material from their painstaking compilation.

Feel free to update/correct items on this page. This is a publicly-editable site. (After you are logged in, click on the "edit" link to the right of the header of the section you want to modify, or click "edit" at the top of the page to access the entire page.)

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Traditional Power Generation

Lowest price listed first

Method Cents/kW-h Limitations and Externalities
Gas

Currently supplies around 15% of the global electricity demand.
3.9 - 4.4 Cents/kW-h Gas-fired plants and generally quicker and less expensive to build than coal or nuclear, but a relatively high percentage of the cost/KWh is derived from the cost of the fuel. Due to the current (and projected future) upwards trend in gas prices, there is uncertainty around the cost / KWh over the lifetime of plants. Gas burns more cleanly than coal, but the gas itself (largely methane) is a potent greenhouse gas. Some energy conversions to calculate your cost of natural gas per kwh. 100 cubic feet (CCF)~ 1 Therm = 100,000 btu ~ 29.3 kwh.
Coal

Currently supplies around 38% of the global electricity demand.
4.8 - 5.5 Cents/kW-h Increasingly difficult to build new coal plants in the developed world, due to environmental requirements governing the plants. Growing concern about coal fired plants in the developing world (China, for instance, imposes less environmental overhead, and has large supplies of high sulphur content coal). The supply of coal is plentiful, but the coal generation method is perceived to make a larger contribution to air pollution than the rest of the methods combined.
Nuclear

Currently supplies around 24% of the global electricity demand.
11.1 - 14.5 Cents/kW-h Political difficulties in using nuclear in some nations. Risk of widespread (and potentially lethal) contamination upon containment failure. Fuel is plentiful, but problematic. Waste disposal remains a significant problem, and de-commissioning is costly (averaging approximately US $320MM per plant in the US).

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Conventional, Renewable Power Generation

Lowest price listed first

Method Cents/kW-h Limitations and Externalities
Wind

Currently supplies approximately 1.4% of the global electricity demand. Wind is considered to be about 30% reliable.
4.0 - 6.0 Cents/kW-h Wind is currently the only cost-effective alternative energy method, but has a number of problems. Wind farms are highly subject to lightning strikes, have high mechanical fatigue failure, are limited in size by hub stress, do not function well, if at all, under conditions of heavy rain, icing conditions or very cold climates, and are noisy and cannot be insulated for sound reduction due to their size and subsequent loss of wind velocity and power.
Geothermal

Currently supplies approximately 0.23% of the global electricity demand. Geothermal is considered 90-95% reliable.
4.5 - 30 Cents/kW-h New low temperature conversion of heat to electricity is likely to make geothermal substantially more plausible (more shallow drilling possible) and less expensive. Generally, the bigger the plant, the less the cost and cost also depends upon the depth to be drilled and the temperature at the depth. The higher the temperature, the lower the cost per kwh. Cost may also be affect by where the drilling is to take place as concerns distance from the grid and another factor may be the permeability of the rock.
Hydro

Currently supplies around 19.9% of the global electricity demand. Hydro is considered to be 60% reliable.
5.1 - 11.3 Cents/kW-h Hydro is currently the only source of renewable energy making substantive contributions to global energy demand. Hydro plants, however, can (obviously) only be built in a limited number of places, and can significantly damage aquatic ecosystems.
Solar

Currently supplies approximately 0.8% of the global electricity demand.
15 - 30 Cents/kW-h Solar power has been expensive, but soon is expected to drop to as low as 3.5 cents/kW-h. Once the silicon shortage is remedied through alternative materials, a solar energy revolution is expected.

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Non-Conventional, Available, Renewable Power Generation Technologies

Lowest price listed first

Method Cents/kW-h Limitations and Externalities
Tide

2 - 5 Cents/kW-h Blue Energy's tidal fence, engineered and ready for implementation, would provide a land bridge (road) while also generating electricity. Environmental impact is low. Tides are highly predictable.

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Non-Conventional, Emerging, Renewable Power Generation Technologies

Lowest price listed first

Method Cents/kW-h Limitations and Externalities
Atmospheric Cold Megawatts

.03 - 1.0 Cents/kW-h Typical installation requires 1 - 2 pipelines approximately 300km in length. Endpoints are placed to maximize historical atmospheric pressure differentials. After construction is complete, however, maintenance is minimal, no raw materials are required, and no environmental externalities are produced.
Thermal Electric

3 - 15 Cents/kW-h ENECO Chip is a "solid state energy conversion/generation chip" that will convert heat directly into electricity. Is more efficient than solar and substantially cheaper. Can be applied to waste heat as well.
OTEC (Ocean Energy Thermal Conversion)

6 - 25 Cents/kW-h Presently not functioning but two plants are to be built. One (agout 1.3 megawatts) is to be started in Kona next year and the other much larger one (about 13 megawatts) is also to be built somewhere in the state later on for the military. I believe that the military spending guide lines state that there must be a reduction in expenditures for electricity over the next few years. A Breakdown of the technology by OCEES Internation, INC.

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Cost Factors

General cost factors that should be taken into consideration in price comparisons.

  • Engineering/planning
  • Mechanism components
  • Mechanism assembly
  • Marketing
  • Permits
  • Installation
  • Distance to grid (varries from one installation to the next)
  • Security
  • Maintenance
  • Fuel
  • Disposal of hazardous waste
  • General impact on the environment
  • Decommissioning
  • etc.

References

General Comparisons

Specific Modalities

Listed alphabetically

Geothermal

  • Chena Hot Springs Geothermal Projects - This system in Alaska operates with low temperature themal resources and can lower cost of power production from 30 cents to less than 7 cents par kWhr once the UTC (United Technologies Corporation) plant is installed and operational. Production is planned for 2007.
  • Geothermal power moves ahead - Geothermal plants still account for just 9,300 megawatts of generation capacity worldwide — a tiny fraction of the 4,100-gigawatt total, most of which is fueled with coal and natural gas, according to the Paris-based Renewable Energy Policy Network. (Bloomberg News; January 5, 2007)

Hydro

  • Hydro fees jump - "Hydro rates will climb on May 1 to up to 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour." (CBC News; April 12, 2006)
  • Geothermal power moves ahead - Hydroelectric generators worldwide account for 816 gigawatts of capacity, while the total generation capacity worldwide is 4,100 gigawatt, according to the Paris-based Renewable Energy Policy Network. (Bloomberg News; January 5, 2007) [Hydro = 20% (seems high)]


Wind

  • Geothermal power moves ahead - wind farms account for 59 gigawatts — a fraction of the 4,100-gigawatt worldwide generation capacity, according to the Paris-based Renewable Energy Policy Network. (Bloomberg News; January 5, 2007) [Wind = 1.4%]

Contact

John R. Crocker of Cold Energy, LLC has compiled a chart with some of the above info, which he has allowed for us to reproduce.

New Energy Congress member, Adrian Akau has provided much information for this page.

Comments

See Discussion page


See also

- Other Directory listingsLatestA-IJ-RS-ZTreeNews
- PESWiki home page

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