How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has historical data on the average annual operation, maintenance, and fuel costs for existing power plants by major fuel or energy source types in Table 8.4. Average power plant operating expenses for major U.S. investor-owned electric utilities1 of the Electric Power Annual.
EIA has projections for electricity generation costs in the Annual Energy Outlook. The most recent projections and estimates for different types of power plants are in Levelized cost and levelized avoided cost of new generation resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019, which includes estimated costs in dollars per megawatthour (mWh) based on a 30-year cost recovery period for various types of power plants that start operation in 2020, 2022, and 2040.
1 A mill is equal to 1/1,000 of a U.S. dollar, or 1/10 of one cent. Mills per kilowatthour (kWh) equals dollars per megawatthour (mWh). To convert mills per kWh to cents per kWh, divide mills per kWh by 10.
New U.S. power plants expected to be mostly natural gas combined-cycle and solar PV
Power plants’ costs and value to the grid are not easily reflected using simple metrics
Assessing the Economic Value of New Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Projects
Electricity Market Module and Renewable Fuels Module in the Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook
Model Documentation: National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)
Last updated: March 8, 2019
Other FAQs about Natural Gas
- Does EIA have county-level energy production data?
- Does EIA have information on U.S. natural gas and oil pipelines?
- Does EIA have projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA publish energy consumption and price data for cities, counties, or by zip code?
- Does EIA publish shale gas and coalbed methane production and reserves data?
- How does EIA calculate the year-ago and five-year averages in the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report?
- How much coal, natural gas, or petroleum is used to generate a kilowatthour of electricity?
- How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?
- Which states consume and produce the most natural gas?
- Why am I being charged more for propane than the price on EIA's website?
- How much natural gas does the United States have, and how long will it last?
- How much natural gas is consumed in the United States?
- How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?
- How much shale gas is produced in the United States?
- What are Ccf, Mcf, Btu, and therms? How do I convert natural gas prices in dollars per Ccf or Mcf to dollars per Btu or therm?
- What are the major factors affecting natural gas prices?
- What can I expect to pay for heating this winter?
- What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?
- What is the price or cost of natural gas for U.S. electric power producers?
- What is the volume of world natural gas reserves?
- What types and amounts of energy are produced in each state?