2021-12-24 Renewables Vs Fossil Fuels: VALCOE

Engineering with Rosie dives into the VALCOE – value adjusted levelized cost of energy. This is adjusted for time of use – most solar is available only during daylight hours.


She uses a car race analogy to compare the solar, onshore wind, coal and gas. Solar and wind win the race.

One thing I didn’t understand was the graphs showed gas combined cycle, but she talked about gas peaking plants, which are a completely different VALCOE.

She used several charts from Lazard, version 15. They’re very informative.

She said that solar is not available after the sun sets. This is not true for one type of solar: where the Sun heats fluid that is stored hot for use after dark to generate power.

She showed the ‘duck curve’ of South Australia electric load and how at times there was negative load, the electricity generation exceeded the load. If the hydrogen generation projects had been completed, this would not have happened since excess generation would not have to be curtailed, but instead used to generate green hydrogen.

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