Living by the LCOE sword

There is one analytic that should draw the eyeball immediately, in any discussion of high- or low-carbon energy initiatives. Levelized cost of energy, or LCOE, is an economic assessment of the cost to build and operate a power-generating asset over its lifetime divided by the total power output of the asset over that lifetime.

This is the lodestone of the LPS project. There are no subsidies for hydrokinetic power production in the USA, as there are, for example, in the U.K. We live or die by whether we are able to produce electric power at an all-in cost per kilowatt-hour that meets with commercial reality.

If a project is "green" or "blue" or low-carbon, that's all well and good. But the simple reality is that economic objectives must be met. This isn't feel-good power. A kWh of our electricity looks and smells just like one from a coal plant and will keep your front porch light on for exactly as long.

Let's never, ever, ever lose sight of that fact.


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