Deadline approaching for public consultation on draft GenCost 2023-24 Report
Stakeholder feedback on the draft report is crucial, considering its role in informing decision-makers in Australia's energy sector.
A collaborative effort between CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the GenCost Report is annual economic analysis which examines the costs associated with future electricity generation, storage and hydrogen production in Australia, tracking trends and informing sector wide choices.
The consultation process feedback deadline is set for February 9, 2024. AEMO and CSIRO will host a 90-minute webinar on January 31, outlining the report's key insights and its role in AEMO's forecasting and planning activities. The final report is anticipated for release in the second quarter of 2024.
The draft 2023-24 Report shows a stabilization in new build costs, following a 20% increase reported in the earlier iteration.
Specific technology-related changes include an 8% rise in onshore wind generation costs, a corresponding 8% decrease in large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) costs, and a notable 14% increase in gas turbine technologies. Nuclear small modular reactors (SMRs) appear as the highest-cost technology, aligning with data from an advanced SMR project in the US.
One noteworthy adjustment in the draft report is the inclusion of pre-2030 integration costs, responding to feedback on the previous report. These integration costs, covering storage and transmission for variable renewables, are now factored into the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) data. Despite this adjustment leading to higher cost estimates, variable renewables still maintain the lowest cost range among new-build technologies.
The report also touches on the impact of weakening global inflation, revealing inconsistent effects due to the unique material inputs and supply chains associated with each new build technology. This underscores the complex nature of the evolving energy landscape, shaped by changing technologies and the transition to net-zero emissions.
Technological updates in the draft report include steady battery costs, with only a 2% increase, and a 9% decrease in offshore wind costs. Additionally, costs for technologies such as pumped hydro, wave, and tidal energy have increased after more than a year, reflecting a combination of latest information and inflationary pressures.
As part of the consultation process, AEMO and CSIRO will host a 90-minute webinar on the report's key insights and its role in AEMO's forecasting and planning activities. The webinar will be held from 3pm AEDT on Wednesday 31 January 2024. Registration information here.