I've put together life-cycle cost analyses of different power sources. There are several different studies, so this is a meta-survey.
These are all-in costs: they include (almost) everything - construction, operation, maintenance, fuel, decommissioning - amortized over the lifespans of the plant. There are some inconsistencies: for instance, the EIA figures also add transmission costs (< 1 c/kWh), and different assumptions are used everywhere - different discount rates, etc. Also, there are regional cost differences beyond those which can be corrected by using PPP conversions. So comparing absolute values across studies is probably not meaningful.
The studies come from across time and space. Right now it has what I think is the most sensible conversions: real 2009 US dollars, inflation- and PPP- adjusted. Any economists' input would be very welcome.
One more caveat: these are generating costs - they do not include external costs, including environmental ones (pollutants, CO2 emissions) or electric grid ones (load-balancing). For instance, natural gas backup would add ~3 c/kWh to wind farms, according to the RAENG study (I do not include this in the table). It would be nice to have cost analyses of the major proposals - things like continent-wide HVDC networks, molten-salt heat storage, chemical batteries, hydrogen fuel cells. These may even be in the studies I've linked - they are huge documents, I could easily have missed them.
(I do not consider hydroelectricity or pumped-water storage to qualify, as they have too limited geographic potential. Actually several of the energy sources I list don't have much theoretical potential either (wave power), but I include them anyway.)
This is a living document. By which I mean, it's horrible and will need lots of revisions. In many cases my interpretation of which figure is the relevant one for the table may be wrong (FOAK or NOAK? 5% or 10% discount? Supercritical or subcritical steam? Leave the outlier in or throw it out? 2006 figure or 2010 projection (from a 2006 study)? etc., etc.) Continuing - I haven't included the coal and gas figures from the CEC analysis, because I couldn't figure out which was which. And I may have misclassified some of the "wind" resources as onshore or "coal" resources as conventional pulverized-fuel (PF), which were my defaults when there was no further specification. The EIA reference isn't acceptable - I linked to a secondhand compilation by Next Big Future (a prolific blogger), but I need to find the same figures in the original (gigantic) EIA report. And this table is terribly incomplete - I left out some very good cost studies from not having heard of them.
Any advice, corrections, suggestions are VERY welcome! Please, help me!
Color key (all figures in 2009 US dollar cents (PPP) per kWh)
|< 4 c/kWh||4 - 5||5 - 6||6 - 7||7 - 8||8 - 9||9 - 10||10 - 11||11 - 12||12 - 13||13+|
|3.5 - 3.7||7.7 - 13.5||5.7||5.3|
|1.8 - 6.6||9.7||2.6 - 4.4||4.5||6.2||4.8 - 5.0||3.6|
|12.6||5.4 - 5.5||6.7|
|3.1||11.4||8.1||6.9 - 9.4||3.7 - 9.4|
|4.6 - 17.2|
|4.7 - 9.6||11.7||11.5||8.9 - 17.5|
|4.5 - 7.0||8.2||3.5 - 4.7||3.9||6.5||3.9|
|2.7 - 5.5||11.0||6.4||6.2||6.9 - 10.2||4.1||8.4||3.3||3.5 - 5.2|
Solar conc. PV
|15.9 - 30.2|
|13.9 - 56.0||40.6||103.2||26.3 - 62.4|
|19.1||27.0||17.8||15.9 - 30.2|
|32.3||63.1 - 123.2||11.8|
|5.8 - 10.9||23.5||12.0||9.8|
|3.6 - 10.7||14.5||5.7||10.1||6.2 - 10.2||6.6|
Consumer Price Index (inflation)
|Country||currency conversion||PPP factor|
|UK||1 GBP = 1.6332 USD||108|
|Australia||1 AUD = 0.7976 USD||97|
|CCS||carbon capture and storage|
|conc. PV||concentrating photovoltaic|
|IGCC||integrated gasification combined cycle|
[IEA] (5% only) OECD International Energy Agency | Projected Costs of Generating Electricity (2005 update) (summaries pp. 53, 63, 74)
[RAENG] Royal Academy of Engineering & PB Power | Costs of Generating Electricity Report (summary pp. 9-10)
[DTI] UK Department of Trade & Industry (?) | Energy white paper: meeting the energy challenge
in particular the subsections
(PDF) Impact of banding the renewables obligation: costs of electricity production (summary table p. 6)
(PDF) Nuclear power generation cost benefit analysis (p. 4)
[MIT-C] MIT | The Future of Coal: an interdisciplinary MIT study (pp. 35, 46)
[ANSTO] Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Introducing nuclear power to Australia - an economic comparison (summary table p. 58)
[UChicago] University of Chicago | The Economic Future of Nuclear Power (p. 14)