NREL Updates Baseline Cost And Performance Data For Electricity Generation Technologies
- Sep 12, 2017 -
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the 2017 Annual Technology Baseline (ATB), updating a key source of reliable electricity generation technology cost and performance data used to support and inform electric sector analysis in the United States. Now in its third year, the ATB documents technology-specific information on a broad spectrum of electricity generation technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear.
The ATB synthesizes current and projected data from various sources into a highly accessible and widely referenced resource for energy analysts. The 2017 ATB is available in a new interactive website atatb.nrel.gov and will be featured in a webinar on August 29.
“In addition to aggregating the most reliable, timely cost and performance data spanning the full range of energy technologies, the Annual Technology Baseline highlights key trends and makes projections out to 2050,” said NREL Senior Analyst Maureen Hand. “For energy analysts and others tasked with communicating relevant electricity technology cost and performance trends that have a bearing on energy markets, the ATB serves as an indispensable go-to resource that greatly facilitates and streamlines the work involved.”
For example, the ATB illustrates how solar photovoltaic (PV) capital costs have declined recently and are projected to continue to decline. Similarly, land-based wind capital costs have fallen while capacity factors have increased. These are trends that are both projected to continue and make wind increasingly competitive with new generation from natural gas combined cycle plants in the near term. The ATB provides three different levels of future technology cost and performance through 2050 to support analysis of future U.S. electric sector scenarios.
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