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Comparisons of 10 Electricity Generation Plants with New Metrics 2019

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Electricity Generation Plant Comparisons
using new metrics 2019

Area per TWh  (to supplement w/m^2 value)

Is a new metric to to compare area of the generating plant in km^2 required  produce the same amount of energy in a year (1 TWh / year).

 

It only refers to a specific generation plant at a specific year, and, it only uses the published data for the plants annual output & area, and, a declared energy amount (1 TWh) common to all compared plants, this results in verifiable km^2 values for easy comparisons of the different plants.

 

See “New Data Metrics” in the Full Report for more details. 

Plant Income Factor
(to supplement LCOE value)


Is a new metric to compare different generating plants by: firstly calculating the income the plant makes from its annual production of electricity at a nominal rate / kWh (US $ 0.05) this results in large cumbersome numbers that are difficult to compare easily, so this result is factored by: secondly dividing the first value by Plants Name Plate Capacity * 8766 h, this results in a factor value that is less than 100, the larger the value the more money the plants makes at the nominal power purchase rate used.

An advantage of the Plant Income Factor is that it uses data from public sources for annual production and name plate capacity, so each plant is evaluated form a similarly sourced data set.

To verify the actual $ amount simply multiply the (Plant Income Factor number) by (the Name Plate Rating * 8766).  See “New Data Metrics” in the Full Report for more details. 

Below is a static image of the spreadsheet detail, to download, click XLS above.

TABLE: Electrical Generation Plant Comparisons 2019

Ordered by least area required by plant to produce 1 TWh electricity in a year.

NOTES to TABLE

 

* LCOE


In essence the LCOE is calculated as: the lifetime costs of the plant divided by the lifetime energy production (in MWh or kWh).
 

LCOE was created to determine the lowest price the plant must receive to break even after the life time of the plant.  It was originally used to compare plants of the same fossil fuel type during the early design and negotiating stages.

 

The US DOE states that the LCOE “Allows the comparison of different technologies (e.g., wind, solar, natural gas) of unequal life spans, project size, different capital cost, risk, return, and capacities.” (https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/08/f25/LCOE.pdf

 

But in fact, there are many different ways to make this calculation hence the different LCOE calculations are not equal and not comparable.

 

In the LCOE Column  the following sources are used for this list of LCOE values:
 

Petroleum, Nat Gas CC, Nuclear, Coal, Solar & Wind values from Lizard (see Full Report “General References)

 

Wave from NREL (DOE) calculator  (see Full Report “4. Wave” for details);

 

Hydro from Wikipedia LCOE (see Full Report General References - Projected LCOE in US by 2020);


Tidal Range from GEMAX (see Full Report “9. Tidal Range”;
 

Tidal Stream from World Energy Council (see Full Report “General References”

** Plant Income Factor (to supplement LCOE value)


Is a new metric to compare different generating Plants by:
firstly calculating the income the plant makes from its annual production of electricity at a nominal rate / kWh (US $ 0.05) this results in large cumbersome numbers that are difficult to compare easily, so this result is factored by: secondly dividing the first value by Plants Name Plate Capacity * 8766 h, this results in a factor value that is less than 100, the larger the value the more money the plants makes at the nominal power purchase rate used.

An advantage of the Plant Income Factor is that it uses data from public sources for annual production and name plate capacity, so each plant is evaluated form a similarly sourced data set.

To verify the actual $ amount simply multiply the (Plant Income Factor number) by (the Name Plate Rating * 8766).  See “New Data Metrics” in the Full Report for more details. ​

 

***      w/m^2   


Smil: http://www.vaclavsmil.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/smil-article-power-density-primer.pdf   declares the following simple w / m^2 formula for generation plants:
    W/m^2    = (Name Plate Rating [w] * Capacity Factor) / Area of Plant [m^2]


This formula (using published values for the variables) is used here throughout because of the large number of published different values for this metric for the different generating systems.

Other sets of w/m^2 data can be found at: https://www.strata.org/pdf/2017/footprints-full.pdf  for Coal, N. Gas, Nuclear, Solar. Wind & Hydro, and, the Brook and Bradshaw set in “Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation“ at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.12433 .

The main problem we have found with the w/m^2 metric is that there is no consistency with the area values used for the different plants: some just use the physical plant area Others include settling ponds and river basins for cooling, others include mining, others transportation, and some, include the area used for maintenance support and others for the mining and building of the components of the plant, e.g. for wind turbines blades and foundations, others factor in the cost of CO2 emissions in various ways.

We consider this metric problematic and subject to unstated bias when different different technologies are compared.

 

****   Area per TWh  (to supplement w/m^2 value)


Is a new metric to to compare area of the generating plant in km^2 required  produce the same amount of energy in a year (1 TWh / year).

 

It only refers to a specific generation plant at a specific year, and, it only uses the published data for the plants annual output & area, and, a declared energy amount (1 TWh) common to all compared plants, this results in verifiable km^2 values for easy comparisons of the different plants.

 

See “New Data Metrics” in the Full Report for more details. ​​

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