Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies
AbstractEconomic evaluations of alternative electric generating technologies typically rely on comparisons between their expected "levelized cost" per MWh supplied. I demonstrate that this metric is inappropriate for comparing intermittent generating technologies like wind and solar with dispatchable generating technologies like nuclear, gas combined cycle, and coal. It overvalues intermittent generating technologies compared to dispatchable base load generating technologies. It also likely overvalues wind generating technologies compared to solar generating technologies. Integrating differences in production profiles, the associated variations in wholesale market prices of electricity, and life-cycle costs associated with different generating technologies is necessary to provide meaningful comparisons between them.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Other versions of this item:
- Paul L. Joskow, 2011. "Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/45, European University Institute.
- Paul L. Joskow, 2010. "Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies," Working Papers 1013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
- Paul L. Joskow, 2011. "Comparing the Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 45, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
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