Solar retains it LCOE edge in latest Lazard analysis


From pv magazine Global

Lazard released its Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis version 15.0 for Energy and Version 7.0 for Energy Storage.

According to the consultancy, utility-scale solar–both thin-film and crystalline silicon–as well as wind have the lowest LCOE of all U.S. sources considered, as in last year’s report.

The LCOE of unsubsidized large-scale PV based on crystalline silicon is estimated at $0.030-$0.042/kWh and that of grid-parity thin-film solar plants at $0.028-$0.037/kWh. For comparison, in 2020 Lazard reported that crystalline silicon achieved $0.031-$0.042/kWh and thin-film $0.029-$0.038/kWh.

The LCOE for residential PV is indicated at $0.147-$0.221/kWh and that of commercial and industrial rooftop solar at $0.067-$0.180/kWh.

Wind is still the cheapest electricity source with an LCOE of $0.026-$0.050/kWh, which is slightly lower than $0.026-$0.054/kWh last year. The cost decline for utility-scale solar, however, continues to be higher than that for onshore wind, Lazard emphasized.

Combined cycle gas has anLCOE of $0.045-$0.074/kWh, the lowest among conventional sources; that of coal and nuclear is $0.065-$0.152/kWh and $0.131-$0.204/kWh, respectively.

“When U.S. government subsidies are included, the cost of onshore wind and utility-scale solar continues to be competitive with the marginal cost of coal, nuclear and combined cycle gas generation,” Lazard said. Including these values, solar reaches an LCOE of $0.027/kWh and wind of $0.025/kWh, while coal and nuclear power achieve $0.042/kWh and $0.024/kWh, respectively.

As for the levelized cost of storage (LCOS) in the U.S., Lazard reported that unsubsidized storage projects operating on the spot market and with a capacity of 100 MW/100 MWh are able to deliver a value of $0.160-$0.279/kWh. Facilities with capacities of 100 MW/200 MWh and 100 MW/400 MW can reach $0.146-$0.257/kWh and $0.131-$0.232/kWh, respectively. Solar-plus-storage with a capacity of 50 MW/200 MWh is estimated to reach $0.085-$0.158/kWh.

In the residential segment, solar-plus-storage installations are said to achieve $0.416-$0.621/kWh. For the commercial segment this value was estimated at $0.235-$0.335/kWh.

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