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IEA Wind Task 26 - Multi-national Case Study of the Financial Cost of Wind Energy; Work Package 1 Final Report

Description: The lifetime cost of wind energy is comprised of a number of components including the investment cost, operation and maintenance costs, financing costs, and annual energy production. Accurate representation of these cost streams is critical in estimating a wind plant's cost of energy. Some of these cost streams will vary over the life of a given project. From the outset of project development, investors in wind energy have relatively certain knowledge of the plant's lifetime cost of wind energy. This is because a wind energy project's installed costs and mean wind speed are known early on, and wind generation generally has low variable operation and maintenance costs, zero fuel cost, and no carbon emissions cost. Despite these inherent characteristics, there are wide variations in the cost of wind energy internationally, which is the focus of this report. Using a multinational case-study approach, this work seeks to understand the sources of wind energy cost differences among seven countries under International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind Task 26 - Cost of Wind Energy. The participating countries in this study include Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. Due to data availability, onshore wind energy is the primary focus of this study, though a small sample of reported offshore cost data is also included.
Date: March 1, 2011
Creator: Schwabe, P.; Lensink, S. & Hand, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wind Levelized Cost of Energy: A Comparison of Technical and Financing Input Variables

Description: The expansion of wind power capacity in the United States has increased the demand for project development capital. In response, innovative approaches to financing wind projects have emerged and are proliferating in the U.S. renewable energy marketplace. Wind power developers and financiers have become more efficient and creative in structuring their financial relationships, and often tailor them to different investor types and objectives. As a result, two similar projects may use very different cash flows and financing arrangements, which can significantly vary the economic competitiveness of wind projects. This report assesses the relative impact of numerous financing, technical, and operating variables on the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) associated with a wind project under various financing structures in the U.S. marketplace. Under this analysis, the impacts of several financial and technical variables on the cost of wind electricity generation are first examined individually to better understand the relative importance of each. Then, analysts examine a low-cost and a high-cost financing scenario, where multiple variables are modified simultaneously. Lastly, the analysis also considers the impact of a suite of financial variables versus a suite of technical variables.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Cory, K. & Schwabe, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Renewable Energy Project Financing: Impacts of the Financial Crisis and Federal Legislation

Description: Extraordinary financial market conditions have disrupted the flows of equity and debt investment into U.S. renewable energy (RE) projects since the fourth quarter of 2008. The pace and structure of renewable energy project finance has been reshaped by a combination of forces, including the financial crisis, global economic recession, and major changes in federal legislation affecting renewable energy finance. This report explores the impacts of these key market events on renewable energy project financing and development.
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Schwabe, P.; Cory, K. & Newcomb, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impact of Financial Structure on the Cost of Solar Energy

Description: To stimulate investment in renewable energy generation projects, the federal government developed a series of support structures that reduce taxes for eligible investors--the investment tax credit, the production tax credit, and accelerated depreciation. The nature of these tax incentives often requires an outside investor and a complex financial arrangement to allocate risk and reward among the parties. These financial arrangements are generally categorized as 'advanced financial structures.' Among renewable energy technologies, advanced financial structures were first widely deployed by the wind industry and are now being explored by the solar industry to support significant scale-up in project development. This report describes four of the most prevalent financial structures used by the renewable sector and evaluates the impact of financial structure on energy costs for utility-scale solar projects that use photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.
Date: March 1, 2012
Creator: Mendelsohn, M.; Kreycik, C.; Bird, L.; Schwabe, P. & Cory, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

2010 Cost of Wind Energy Review

Description: This document provides a detailed description of NREL's levelized cost of wind energy equation, assumptions and results in 2010, including historical cost trends and future projections for land-based and offshore utility-scale wind.
Date: April 1, 2012
Creator: Tegen, S.; Hand, M.; Maples, B.; Lantz, E.; Schwabe, P. & Smith, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

2011 Cost of Wind Energy Review

Description: This report describes the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for a typical land-based wind turbine installed in the United States in 2011, as well as the modeled LCOE for a fixed-bottom offshore wind turbine installed in the United States in 2011. Each of the four major components of the LCOE equation are explained in detail, such as installed capital cost, annual energy production, annual operating expenses, and financing, and including sensitivity ranges that show how each component can affect LCOE. These LCOE calculations are used for planning and other purposes by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Program.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Tegen, S.; Lantz, E.; Hand, M.; Maples, B.; Smith, A. & Schwabe, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mobilizing Public Markets to Finance Renewable Energy Projects: Insights from Expert Stakeholders

Description: Financing renewable energy projects in the United States can be a complex process. Most equity investment in new renewable power production facilities is supported by tax credits and accelerated depreciation benefits, and is constrained by the pool of potential investors that can fully use these tax benefits and are willing to engage in complex financial structures. For debt financing, non-government lending has largely been provided by foreign banks that may be under future lending constraints due to economic and regulatory conditions. To discuss renewable energy financing challenges and to identify new sources of capital to the U.S. market, two roundtable discussions were held with renewable energy and financing experts in April 2012. This report summarizes the key messages of those discussions and is designed to provide insights to the U.S. market and inform the international conversation on renewable energy financing innovations.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Schwabe, P.; Mendelsohn, M.; Mormann, F. & Arent, D. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

2008 Solar Technologies Market Report

Description: The focus of this report is the U.S. solar electricity market, including photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. The report is organized into five chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of global and U.S. installation trends. Chapter 2 presents production and shipment data, material and supply chain issues, and solar industry employment trends. Chapter 3 presents cost, price, and performance trends. Chapter 4 discusses policy and market drivers such as recently passed federal legislation, state and local policies, and developments in project financing. Chapter 5 provides data on private investment trends and near-term market forecasts. Highlights of this report include: (1) The global PV industry has seen impressive growth rates in cell/module production during the past decade, with a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46% and a 5-year CAGR of 56% through 2008. (2) Thin-film PV technologies have grown faster than crystalline silicon over the past 5 years, with a 10-year CAGR of 47% and a 5-year CAGR of 87% for thin-film shipments through 2008. (3) Global installed PV capacity increased by 6.0 GW in 2008, a 152% increase over 2.4 GW installed in 2007. (4) The United States installed 0.34 GW of PV capacity in 2008, a 63% increase over 0.21 GW in 2007. (5) Global average PV module prices dropped 23% from $4.75/W in 1998 to $3.65/W in 2008. (6) Federal legislation, including the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA, October 2008) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, February 2009), is providing unprecedented levels of support for the U.S. solar industry. (7) In 2008, global private-sector investment in solar energy technology topped $16 billion, including almost $4 billion invested in the United States. (8) Solar PV market forecasts made in early 2009 anticipate global PV production and demand to increase fourfold ...
Date: January 1, 2010
Creator: Price, S.; Margolis, R.; Barbose, G.; Bartlett, J.; Cory, K.; Couture, T. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department