TABLE 3.A.1 Sources and Key Assumptions Used to Develop Cost and Energy Supply Estimates in This Report


Fossil-Fuel Energy (Chapter 7)

Nuclear Energy (Chapter 8)

Renewable Energy (Chapter 6)

Reference scenario

EIA (2008)

EIA (2008)

EIA (2009)


Source of cost estimates

Committee-derived model estimates

Committee-derived model estimates

Critical assessment of the literaturea

Models used to obtain estimates

NETL (2007) and Princeton Environmental Instituteb

  • Keystone (2007) model for LCOEc

  • Monte Carlo for sensitivity analysis

  • NEMS model for EIA (2009) cost estimates

  • MERGE model for EPRI (2007) cost estimates

  • Other literature estimates are not model based

Cost estimate limitations

  • IGCC, USPC, and CCS technologies are not yet mature and have not been deployed

  • Geologic storage of CO2 has not been demonstrated on a commercial scale

Evolutionary nuclear technologies are mature but plants have not yet been deployed in the United States.

Solar technologies are undergoing rapid technological improvements that could bring down future costs.

Plant maturity

  • Nth plant for pulverized coal

  • 3 percent premium on capital costs added for IGCC, PC-CCS, and IGCC-CCS to account for immaturity of technologies

  • 20 percent premium on CCS capital costs added for CCS 2020 estimates to account for immaturity of technologies

Nth plant

Nth plant

Plant size

500 MW (coal and gas)

1.35 GW, based on weighted average of current plant license applications


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