The site-specific nature of geothermal plant cost, the relative maturity of hydrothermal plant technology, and the very early stage development of EGS technologies make cost projections difficult. No thorough literature reviews have been conducted for cost reduction of hydrothermal geothermal technologies or EGS technologies. However, the GeoVision BAU scenario is based on a bottom-up analysis of costs and performance improvements. The inputs for the BAU scenario were developed by the national laboratories as part of the GeoVision effort, and it was reviewed by industry experts.
Projection of future geothermal plant CAPEX for the Low cost case is based on the GeoVision Technology Improvement scenario. It assumes that cost and technology improvements are achieved by 2030 and that costs decrease linearly from present values to the 2030 projected values. The Mid cost case is based on minimum learning rates as implemented in AEO (EIA, 2015): 10% by 2035. This corresponds to a 0.5% annual improvement in CAPEX, which is assumed to continue on through 2050. The Constant technology cost scenario retains all cost and performance assumptions equivalent to the Base Year through 2050.
EIA. (2015). Annual Energy Outlook 2015 with Projections to 2040 (No. AEO2015). Retrieved from U.S. Energy Information Administration website: https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/pdf/0383(2015).pdf