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Issue 9, 2011
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Assumptions and the levelized cost of energy for photovoltaics

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Photovoltaic electricity is a rapidly growing renewable energy source and will ultimately assume a major role in global energy production. The cost of solar-generated electricity is typically compared to electricity produced by traditional sources with a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculation. Generally, LCOE is treated as a definite number and the assumptions lying beneath that result are rarely reported or even understood. Here we shed light on some of the key assumptions and offer a new approach to calculating LCOE for photovoltaics based on input parameter distributions feeding a Monte Carlo simulation. In this framework, the influence of assumptions and confidence intervals becomes clear.

Graphical abstract: Assumptions and the levelized cost of energy for photovoltaics

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Nov 2010, accepted on 06 Jan 2011 and first published on 04 Feb 2011

Article type: Analysis
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00698J
Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 3133-3139

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    Assumptions and the levelized cost of energy for photovoltaics

    S. B. Darling, F. You, T. Veselka and A. Velosa, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 3133
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00698J

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