Changes from 2018 ATB to 2019 ATB

The ATB provides a transparent set of technology cost and performance data for electric sector analysis. The update of the 2018 version of ATB to this 2019 version includes general updates to all technologies and technology-specific updates.

General Updates to All Technologies

  • The Base Year was updated from 2016 to 2017 using new market data or analysis where applicable.
  • The dollar year was updated from 2016 to 2017 with a 1.3% inflation rate.
  • Historical data were updated to include data reported through year end 2017.
  • The R&D + Market financing case no longer includes the effects of tariffs.

Natural Gas, Coal, Nuclear, and Biopower

  • Cost and performance estimates were updated to match AEO2019 (EIA, 2019).
  • Natural gas and coal fuel costs were updated to match AEO2019 (EIA, 2019).
  • Information about current costs in published literature was updated.

Land-Based Wind

  • Base Year: The base year was updated to reflect 2017 wind plant cost and performance characteristics ((Moné et al., 2017), (Stehly et al., 2018)).
  • Projections: The LCOE reduction in the Mid cost case for the Base Year to 2030 was updated based on (1) analysts' bottom-up technology and cost modeling for median technology innovation and (2) an LCOE percentage reduction based on learning rates from 2030 to 2050. The Low cost case was updated to reflect recent bottom-up analysis regarding the potential of R&D to enable significant cost reductions. More specifically, a study conducted by NREL (Dykes et al., 2017) assessed a variety of intelligent and novel technologies that comprise next-generation wind plant technologies in order to estimate the LCOE of a SMART wind plant in 2030. A percentage reduction based on learning rates was applied to reduce LCOE between 2030 and 2050.

Offshore Wind

  • Base Year: The base year represents the 2017 value from the 2018 ATB, adjusted for inflation (i.e., from 2016$ to 2017$).
  • Projections: The Constant case represents LCOE deviation from the Mid Technology Cost Scenario informed by analysts' bottom-up technology and cost modeling. The Mid case represents a LCOE percentage reduction estimated from BVG (Valpy et al., 2017) and (Hundleby et al., 2017) from the Base Year. LCOE deviation from the Mid Technology Cost Scenario in CAPEX, O&M, or capacity factor from 2017 to 2050 was informed by analysts' bottom-up technology and cost modeling.

PV (Utility-scale, Commercial, Residential)

  • Base Year: CAPEX for 2017 were updated based on new data from Barbose and Dargouth (2018) and Bolinger and Seel (2018); CAPEX from 2018 were updated based on Fu et al. (2018).
  • Projections: The literature survey was updated with eight new publications, and six outdated publications were removed.

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

  • Base Year: LCOE deviation from the Mid Technology Cost Scenario in CAPEX, O&M, or capacity factor from 2017 to 2050 were informed by analysts' bottom-up technology and cost modeling.
  • Projections: A Mid case is based on recently published literature projections and NREL judgment of U.S. costs for future CAPEX at 2025, 2030, 2040 and 2050 ((IRENA, 2016), (Breyer et al., 2017), (Craig, Brent, & Dinter, 2017), (Feldman, Margolis, Denholm, & Stekli, 2016), (World Bank, 2014)). It is anticipated that CSP costs could fall by approximately 25% from the ATB CSP 2021 costs of $6,450/kWe to approximately $4,800/kWe by 2030. From 2030 to 2050, CSP CAPEX is projected to fall to approximately $3,380/kWe. The Low case is based on the lower bound of the literature sample, and on the "Power to Change" Report (IRENA, 2016).

Geothermal

  • Base Year: The Base Year was updated to 2017$ based on the consumer price index.
  • Projections: Projection of future geothermal plant CAPEX for the Low cost case is based on the Technology Improvement (TI) scenario from the GeoVision Study ((DOE, 2019) and (Augustine, Ho, & Blair, 2019)). The Mid cost case is based on minimum learning rates as implemented in AEO2015 (EIA, 2015): 10% by 2035. The Constant technology cost scenario retains all cost and performance assumptions equivalent to the Base Year through 2050.

Hydropower

  • The definitions of cases are unchanged from 2018.

Storage

  • A simple representation of the CAPEX scenarios used in ReEDS modeling for lithium-ion battery storage is included. A more detailed and comprehensive update to include a broader array of storage technologies is planned for a future ATB.

References

References are specific to this page, see all references page for all references.

Barbose, G., & Darghouth, N. (2018). Tracking the Sun XI: The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States (No. LBNL-2001062). https://doi.org/10.2172/1477384

Bolinger, M., & Seel, J. (2018). Utility-Scale Solar: An Empirical Trends in Project Technology, Cost, Performance, and PPA Pricing in the United States (2018 Edition). Retrieved from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory website: https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/lbnl_utility_scale_solar_2018_edition_report.pdf

Breyer, C., Afanasyeva, S., Brakemeier, D., Engelhard, M., Giuliano, S., Puppe, M., … Moser, M. (2017). Assessment of Mid-Term Growth Assumptions and Learning Rates for Comparative Studies of CSP and Hybrid PV-Battery Power Plants. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1850, 160001-1-160001–160009. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4984535

Craig, O. O., Brent, A. C., & Dinter, F. (2017). The Current and Future Energy Economics of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) in South Africa. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 28(3), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.7166/28-3-1835

Dykes, K., Hand, M., Stehly, T., Veers, P., Robinson, M., Lantz, E., & Tusing, R. (2017). Enabling the SMART Wind Power Plant of the Future Through Science-Based Innovation (No. NREL/TP-5000-68123). https://doi.org/10.2172/1378902

EIA. (2019a). Annual Energy Outlook 2019 with Projections to 2050. Retrieved from U.S. Energy Information Administration website: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/AEO2019.pdf

Fu, R., Feldman, D., & Margolis, R. (2018). U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2018. https://doi.org/10.2172/1484344

IRENA. (2016b). The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025. Retrieved from International Renewable Energy Agency website: https://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_Power_to_Change_2016.pdf

Moné, Christopher, Hand, M., Bolinger, M., Rand, J., Heimiller, D., & Ho, J. (2017). 2015 Cost of Wind Energy Review (No. NREL/TP-6A20-66861). https://doi.org/10.2172/1351062

Stehly, T., Beiter, P., Heimiller, D., & Scott, G. (2018). 2017 Cost of Wind Energy Review (Technical Report No. NREL/TP-6A20-72167). Retrieved from National Renewable Energy Laboratory website: www.nrel.gov/docs/fy18osti/72167.pdf