German Fossil Fuel Power Plant Capacity Getting More Expensive

This new page at compares the installation cost for new fossil fuel power plant capacity as reported in various recent studies. It notes that these costs are going up.

Thanks to Sonnenseite for the link.

For example, the costs for coal power plants have gone up from around 1,000 euro a kW to about 1,500, and are projected to increase further to around 2,000 in 2020.

In contrast, solar PV has come down from around 3,000 in 2009 to 1,500 in 2012, and is expected to come down even further in the future.

That still doesn’t mean that PV is already cheaper in installation costs than coal, since a coal power plant can run at a multiple of the capacity factor of solar panels, if the market lets it do that. That means the electricity generated each year from one kW of coal capacity may be much more than that from one kW of solar PV.

Gas turbine capacity is the cheapest at around 400 euro per kW right now, which is not expected to change much in the future. That fact will come in handy when Germany moves to providing power from hydrogen and methane made in time slots where there is insufficient demand to cover all available wind and solar generation.

Offshore wind is around 3,000 right now and will take another couple of decades to come down to 1,500. That does not necessarily mean that offshore wind is much more expensive per kWh than solar PV right now, since it can get higher capacity factors than solar at good locations.

This meta study doesn’t bother to list the price for nuclear, since no one will build new nuclear in Germany anyway.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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