UK-based Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has developed a new analysis tool, through which system operators and other users can explore the interaction and cost-effectiveness of different energy generation sources.
The new Excel spreadsheet Technology Comparator tool helps explore the cost effectiveness of sources, including back-up generation, to help operators understand the true cost of the energy source.
Furthermore, it will allow users to calculate the expected Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for selected technologies but also links this into the average annual cost of electricity with and without a carbon price.
The tool is also capable of comparing how well a range of generating technologies can match half-hourly electricity demand through a number of sample years and what the total cost might be.
With the help of data entered by the user, the tool will cost optimise selected generation technologies and uses either batteries or gas-turbines as the backup generation deployed to match demand through the year.
Additionally, the new comparator tool allows users to customise their own purposes by adding additional technologies or setting new demand levels for calculation.
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ETI chief engineer Andrew Haslett said: “Though the LCOE calculation is useful, it’s theoretical analysis can sometimes be misleading and hide the true system costs incurred by different technologies under different operating conditions.
“We therefore decided to develop a tool that will help anyone tasked with matching supply with demand at the lowest cost to consumers and society identify the costs that would be incurred by using different technologies under changing conditions.”