Comprehensive cost assessment of present and future energy conversion technologies
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Renewable energy will play a key role in the transition to a genuinely sustainable energy sector. In the past deployment of renewables was hindered by a number of barriers including their high up-front costs. Today’s renewable technologies are at much lower costs and becoming better economic solution. Realizing their costs is extremely important for investment decisions and to increase their deployment. This report undertakes a review of the historic and current costs of multiple selected renewable energy technologies. It assesses estimates from several studies and expresses the costs results on a common basis for onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaics, battery energy storage, air source heat pumps, electrolyzers and fuel cells. Furthermore, the analysis summarized in this paper represents a static analysis of costs results. In addition, in this work the costs results for all the technologies were implemented into the costs Database created by the MySQL. This costs database contains all the required inputs to the Multi-Energy system (MES) MATLAB tool used by researchers at Utrecht University. Findings show that there has been an overall decline in costs attributable to technological improvements and increased deployment of many of these technologies. In particular for wind, solar and Lithium-ion batteries the enriched size of global renewable markets and the diversity of suppliers has led to more competitive markets. The possibilities for future cost reduction are far from being exhausted. While other technologies such as Vanadium flow batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cells exhibit less commercial uptake. In addition, a better reporting and availability of their costs data could help better to inform investors and policy makers.