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Annual Technology Baseline 2018

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Recommended Citation:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). 2018. 2018 Annual Technology Baseline. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Please consult Guidelines for Using ATB Data:

2018 ATB

For each electricity generation technology in the ATB, this website provides:

  • Capital expenditures (CAPEX): the definition of CAPEX used in the ATB and the historical trends, current estimates, and future projections of CAPEX used in the ATB
  • Operations and maintenance (O&M) costs: the definition of O&M and the current estimates and future projections of O&M used in the ATB
  • Capacity factor (CF): the definition of CF and the historical trends, current estimates, and future projections of CF used in the ATB
  • Future cost and performance methods: an outline of the methodology used to make the projections of future cost and performance in the ATB for Constant, Mid, and Low technology cost cases
  • Levelized cost of energy (LCOE): metric that combines CAPEX, O&M, CF, and projections for Constant, Mid, and Low technology cost cases for illustration of the combined effect of the primary cost and performance components and discussion of technology advances that yield future projections
  • Financing Assumptions: Where applicable, development of technology-specific interest rate on debt, return on equity, and debt-to-equity ratios, and their impact on LCOE are documented in each technology section, and summarized here.

Electricity generation technologies are selected on the left side of the screen, and the topics highlighted above can be selected using the drop-down menu at the top-right of the screen.

Guidelines for using and interpreting ATB content and comparisons to other literature are provided. LCOE accounts for many variables important to determining the competitiveness of a building and operating a specific technology (e.g., upfront capital costs, capacity factor, and cost of financing); however, it does not necessarily demonstrate which technology in a given place and time would provide the lowest cost option for the electricity grid. This analysis is performed using electric sector models such as the Regional Energy Deployment Systems (ReEDS) model and corresponding analysis results such as the NREL Standard Scenarios.

The NREL Standard Scenarios, a companion product to the ATB, provides a suite of electric sector scenarios and associated assumptions-including technology cost and performance assumptions from the ATB.

ATB data sources and references are also provided for each technology. All dollar values are presented in 2016 U.S. dollars, unless noted otherwise.

Additional information about the 2018 ATB - available via links in the ATB website footer below - includes: