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UKERC: first predictions of how much electricity will cost upto 2040

Predicting how much our energy will cost is critical but not in the least bit easy. UKERC are working on it and have revealed their preliminary findings to the Guardian

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The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) is in the middle of reviewing the many and varied studies that aim to predict the future costs of electricity generation.

This is the kind data that can be input to an optimisation model like MARKAL and then used for shaping energy infrastructure policy. Indeed the output of MARKAL is sited in much of the decision making documents published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

So this data matters.

UKERC are sifting through the work of many past research studies. This means adjusting older studies for inflation based on ONS RPI figures and calculating exchange rate adjustments using data from the Bank of England when a study was based on a different currency. That is just some of work that is needed in order to compare like with like in studies.

However, as part of an open approach to science, the UKERC have revealed their emerging trends for the future costs of gas along with on and offshore wind farms.

The data to the left with solid lines is past prices averaged out for the whole of Europe in pounds per Mega Watt hour adjusted for 2011. The data to the right with the dashed lines shows future predictions for UK prices, again in pounds per Mega Watt hour adjusted for 2011.

Although it’s early stages the data trends clearly show the costs of wind and gas lie in an overlapping range during the 2020s, depending on gas prices scenarios and continued, but quite modest, improvement in wind costs.

Another trend is that offshore wind continues to be more expensive but the gap narrows.

We have included this working data and the data showing in the Google Doc below for you to explore. Please bear in mind that a more detailed explanation of the data will come with the publication of the findings.

Data summary

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DATA: download the full spreadsheet

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