Are Renewables Actually the Cheaper Option?

What’s the best energy source? At the end of 2021 I set out to answer that question in a video on how to calculate the cost of energy from different sources. And I used a car race metaphor to illustrate the different components that make up the cost: construction, financing, fuel and operations and maintenance. I got a tonne of comments asking me to include more information. And this is that update.

By popular request I’ve added nuclear and geothermal power, in addition to coal, gas, solar and wind that were in the original video. And we’ll rerun the car race using data from Lazard’s latest levelized cost of energy report, to see which of the six generation types comes out cheapest.

Then in the second half of the video we’ll look at another topic that came up a lot in the comments of the previous video: what are the assumptions behind the cost calculations? Do they include subsidies, the cost of firming renewables with energy storage, or transmission that would need to be added?

Thanks to John Poljak from for doing the calculations. Join us on January 20 for a livestream where we’ll run the LCOE calculations with different assumptions.

If you would like to help develop the Engineering with Rosie channel, you could consider joining the Patreon community, where there is a chat community (and Patreon-only Discord server) about topics covered in the videos and suggestions for future videos and production quality improvements.…

Or for a one-off contribution you can support by buying a coffee ☕️ here —…

00:00 Intro
01:20 Starting Grid Positions – Nameplate Capacity
02:28 First Corner – Overnight Construction Cost
03:37 Second Corner – Financing Costs
03:59 Pit Stop – Fuel Costs
04:39 Third Corner – Operations and Maintenance Costs
05:00 Finish Line – LCOE
05:23 LCOE for different countries and VALCOE
06:42 Subsidies assumptions in LCOE calculations
07:25 Storage requirements for different technologies
07:50 The cost of transmission
08:13 Other factors that affect LCOE – Electricity mix, integration costs
10:09 Australia’s 82% Renewables Plan
10:55 Upcoming Livestream with John Poljak from Keynumbers
11:41 Outro

Lazard’s LCOE Version 15……

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
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