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GenCost 2023-24 report released

The latest release was shaped by an unprecedented level of industry participation.

What’s new?

  • Renewables (solar and wind + firming) remains the lowest cost new build electricity technology.
  • Large-scale nuclear technology costs included for the first time.
  • Future wind costs revised upwards.
  • An extensive FAQ section addressing common questions from current and past consultations.
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What is GenCost?

GenCost is a leading economic report for business leaders and decision-makers planning reliable and affordable energy solutions to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Published annually in collaboration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), GenCost offers accurate, policy and technology-neutral cost estimates for new electricity generation, storage, and hydrogen technologies, through to 2050.

GenCost is highly collaborative and transparent, leveraging the expertise of energy industry stakeholders and involving extensive consultation to ensure accuracy prior to publication.

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GenCost is an annual collaboration between CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to update the costs of new-build electricity generation, storage and hydrogen production out to 2050.

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GenCost 2023-24 report

Explore key insights from the latest report.

GenCost projects the cost of electricity generation and storage for a wide range of technologies up to the year 2050.  

 

Renewables remain lowest cost

The report highlights wind power’s slower recovery from global inflationary pressures, resulting in upward revisions for both onshore and offshore wind costs over the next decade.

Despite this, updated analysis reaffirms that renewables, including associated storage and transmission costs, remain the lowest cost, new build technology out to 2050.

This competitive position reflects a decade of cost reductions in wind, solar photovoltaics (PV) and batteries before the pandemic. This is in contrast with costs of mature competitors which have remained flat.

Large-scale nuclear costs introduced

The inclusion of large-scale nuclear costs this year was prompted by increased stakeholder interest in nuclear technology following the updated cost estimates for SMRs in the 2023-24 consultation draft.

Applying overseas costs to large-scale nuclear projects in Australia is complex due to the lack of a domestic nuclear industry and significant global differences in labor costs, workforce expertise, governance, and standards.

The GenCost 2023-24 report team estimated large-scale nuclear costs using South Korea’s successful nuclear program. They adjusted for differences in Australian and South Korean deployment costs by comparing the cost ratio of new coal generation in each country.

GenCost found nuclear power to be more expensive than renewables and estimated a development timeline of at least 15 years, including construction. This reflects the absence of a local development pipeline, additional legal, safety and security requirements, and stakeholder evidence.

Achieving the reported nuclear costs depends on Australia committing to a continuous building program like South Korea’s. Initial units are likely to incur higher costs, and a first-of-a-kind premium of up to 100 per cent is possible, although not included in the cost estimates for nuclear or other new electricity technologies in the report.

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