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Electricity - Reinventing Fire cost inputs 5 Items

Technology capital cost projections, 2010-2050

In evaluating the future U.S. electricity system, Rocky Mountain Institute created capital cost projections for fossil and renewable generation technologies through 2050. Many newer technologies, such as concentrated solar power, solar photovoltaics, and battery storage, are projected to have rapidly declining capital costs in the next 40 years.


Wind and solar photovoltaic capital cost trends, 1976–2010

Renewable energy technologies have historically had higher capital costs than fossil-fueled power plants, but these costs are falling rapidly.


Strategies for reducing the cost of ground-mounted solar PV

The solar photovoltaics industry has seen remarkable cost reductions over the past 35 years. PV module prices have declined so much that today non-module costs are the majority of total installed cost for utility-scale PV projects. These “balance of system” costs are primed for major reduction through smarter and smaller power electronics, streamlined installation technologies and processes, and project development approaches that leverage low-risk capital and better customer education.


Overnight capital cost for U.S. pressurized-water reactors

Unlike solar and windpower, which have had orders-of-magnitude reduction in cost as experience and manufacturing have scaled, the cost of building a nuclear reactor has increased over time. A reactor ordered today is 5–8 times more expensive per watt of capacity than a reactor built in the 1970s.


Projected vs. actual cost and lead-time of U.S. nuclear power plants, 1966–1977 standard practice vs combined heat and power

Nuclear power plants have a history of major cost overruns and missed deadlines. Of plants whose construction was started prior to 1977, the average actual construction costs were two to three times higher than the average projected cost. The average project was extended at least three years beyond its original completion date.