Graph showing some of CSIRO's energy modelling.

CSIRO's Global and Local Learning Model (GALLM) provides capital cost projections of electricity generation technologies globally and locally to 2050.

Modelling cost projections for electricity generation technologies

CSIRO modelling is providing capital cost projections of electricity generation technologies globally and locally to 2050.

  • 4 August 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011

Understanding the future costs of electricity generation technologies is important for industry and government planning and can help identify which technologies are going to be important in the future.

CSIRO has developed the Global and Local Learning Model (GALLM) to provide a transparent source of information on the future cost and uptake of alternative electricity generation technologies globally and locally to 2050.

Read more about the Projections of the future costs of electricity generation technologies report (February, 2011).

The capability

GALLM takes into account both global and local technological change (referred to as learning) given most electricity technologies are developed and sold on global markets but local application costs can vary.

This is an important factor for countries such as Australia that use global technologies (such as wind turbines) but local installation and manufacturing base costs are different from overseas.

CSIRO has developed the Global and Local Learning Model (GALLM) to provide a transparent source of information on the future cost and uptake of alternative electricity generation technologies.

The global part of the model takes into account uptake and technological learning on a global scale (such as improvements in the technology and cost reductions to make it more competitive) for whole or part technologies existing in the global market.

The local part of the model accounts for the parts of the technologies that have local aspects to their learning, such as installation costs.

The modelling also takes into account market forces, such as the technology price increases that have been observed from around 2005.

A unique aspect of the model is that it is able to anticipate when technologies might be subject to a price premium and assess whether that premium is likely to be a temporary or ongoing feature of the market.

How CSIRO uses it

GALLM provides robust and transparent information about electricity generation technologies to help industry and governments plan for our energy future.

This work is particularly important as it allows CSIRO to determine projections of capital costs for electricity generation technologies unique to Australia where both global and local technological change are factors.

The capital cost projections from GALLM are fed directly into CSIRO's Energy Sector Model (ESM) to determine projections of Australia's future energy mix.

Projects using GALLM

CSIRO has compared its electricity generation cost projections to those produced by other agencies on behalf of the Department of Resource Energy and Tourism.

It is important when making such comparisons that common assumptions are used otherwise comparison can be invalid.

CSIRO developed a process for harmonising and comparing the assumptions from multiple studies.

Download the report: 'Unlocking Australia's energy potential'

Find out more about Understanding and planning energy futures.