World first study on energy technology assessment released at CEDA event
Posted : Thursday, August 02, 2012
A world first study that provides long-run projections of the
cost of electricity generation for 40 technologies, has been
released at a special CEDA event in Melbourne.
The Australian Energy Technology Assessment (AETA) has been
developed by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE)
and is one of the key accompanying studies underpinning the Federal
Government's Energy White Paper due for release later this
BREE Chief Executive Director and Chief Economist, Professor
Quentin Grafton said key results of the report were that:
"Photovoltaic and onshore wind are expected, with all the
uncertainties of projecting out many decades, to have lower cost of
electricity generation out in the long-term."
"Among the non-renewables we have combined cycle gas - in later
years combined with carbon capture and storage - and nuclear power,
offering the lowest levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) and they
remain cost competitive relative to the lower cost renewable
technologies out to the later years."
Professor Grafton said there were two aspects to the AETA, one
was report and the second was the model.
"The difference between us and other studies is we have a model
that is publically available for use by...anyone in the world," he
By using the model, he said various costs for technologies could
be changed, such as operating and maintenance or the carbon price,
to calculate the levelised cost of the electricity for different
technologies under different scenarios.
Professor Grafton said the assessment would be completed
biennially with updates completed biannually with the next
scheduled for March 2013.
Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, Secretary,
Drew Clarke said this was actually the second AETA, with the first
released in 2009, the key difference this time being that the
assumptions are explicit and the model is publicly available.
"Australia needs a mature and ongoing debate around its energy
choices, this in particular is where the AETA plays a role. A
mature debate is one where facts and assumptions are transparent
and that is really the key function of AETA," he said.
He said the assessment was already being used by the Australian
Energy Market Operator and on the policy side, it would be used by
the department in completing the Energy White Paper.
"I expect that various interest groups will disagree with the
numbers...that's healthy and appropriate, but what we want you to
do is say exactly what, within the various parameters, that you
disagree with, put your number in, and you will be able to do this,
and see what difference it makes," he said.
He said it was this level of debate and discussion that they
wanted from the release of the assessment.
On questioning about the inclusion of nuclear, Mr Clarke said:
"the Government policy on nuclear is clear... (but) I think it was
simply appropriate that BREE include what is known about the global
price of nuclear in this assessment for comparative purposes but no
signalling of policy change was intended or should be implied."
Download the report (pdf)
This event was jointly hosted by CEDA and BREE.
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