Power Plant Costs are Falling and India may Export Low Cost Small Reactors

New levelized cost of powerplants being built now and being completed and ready in 2016. The costs are without state and federal subsidies

The latest IHS CERA Power Capital Costs Index (PCCI) shows the costs of constructing new power plants fell an additional three percent over the past six months, signaling a broader downward trend that has now spread beyond nuclear to all classes of power plants. H/T Nuclear Green

Wind has shown the sharpest decrease at 11 percent due to a combined drop in wind turbine and tower costs and a short-term slowdown in orders. Wind was also the most impacted by the current economic and financial crisis, which led to a drying up of tax equity and debt investors. Lower costs for turbines, towers and construction and civils could lead to a continued decrease in costs in the near term.

The decline in nuclear plant costs slowed over the past six months, falling by one percent, due to lower materials costs and additional manufacturing capability for key components. Despite an active pipeline, falling steel prices are likely to push costs down further in the near term

India also seems to be preparing to develop and then export low cost small nuclear reactors. Again a H/T to Nuclear Green’s Charles Barton

Reportedly capital costs of small Indian Reactors may run as low as $0.90 per watt [$200 million for 220 megawatts], but such cost estimates are based on prevailing Indian wage rates. An unnamed official of NPCIL told Hindu Business Line, “Currently, India is perhaps the only country to have an actively working technology, design and infrastructure for manufacture of small reactors with a unit capacity of 220 MWe. These units have a great potential for exports, particularly to nations with small grids that are planning nuclear forays with relatively lower investment levels.”

Nuclear Green also has a EIA cost projection of levelized energy costs to 2016.