“SUMMIQ benefits from structural changes in the energy markets.”
We are in the midst of a change in power generation. Large conventional power plants are being replaced by local renewable energy plants. Intelligence, flexibility and the smart linking of generation and consumption are the cornerstones of a new energy system.
These structural changes in the energy markets benefit renewables, while demand for electricity is increasing at the same time. The advancing digitalization offers further marketing potential through intelligent networking and the use of automation technologies.
Competitive generation costs
Due to continuous reduction of production and technology costs renewable energy sources are now economically competitive and will oust fossil fuels.
New plants produce renewable energy with the lowest operating costs.
Increasing demand of renewable energy
Digitalization of economy, power-to-x and ongoing development of the e-mobility sector drive the increasing demand for electricity by making it the primary source of energy.
More and more globally active companies and governments commit to decarbonizing and renewable energy sourcing.
Digitalization of marketing channels
Modern marketing of produced energy takes place via digital trading platforms (Virtual Power Plants [VPPs]).
The importance of FITs* and subsidies decreases significantly while revenues generated through PPA** markets continue to grow.
* Feed-in tariff
** Power purchase agreement
Levelized cost of energy (unsubsidized) – Historical utility-scale generation comparison ($/MWh)
Generation costs for wind and solar power plants have decreased significantly over the past years. They are expected to further decrease due to an increasing competition of turbine suppliers and solar module producers. This trend is reflected in a market study from Lazard. The levelized cost of unsubsidised energy significantly decreased for both wind and solar projects.
As the chart below shows the price per of one MWh of solar energy decreased from 359 $/MWh in 2009 to 43 $/MWh in 2018. Wind power costs decreased in the same period from 135 $/MWh to 42 $/MWh.
Since 2015, this has led to renewable energies having lower levelized energy costs than conventional energy sources.
Fixed and variable cost components (unsubsidized) of energy generation technologies 2018 – high and low end ($/MWh)
Wind and solar power also have the lowest combined fixed and variable cost components of all energy generation technologies, as the study of Lazard shows.
The results are displayed in the bar chart below: The combined fixed and variable costs of solar PV are between 40-46 $/MWh and of wind between 29-56 $/MWh. In comparison, the combined fixed and variable costs of nuclear power are between 112-189 $/MWh and the combined fixed and variable costs of a gas combined cycle power plant are between 42-74 $/MWh.
These developments have led to significantly lower capital expenditures per MW installed capacity.
In addition to the positive cost developments, early deficiencies have been overcome. Driven by a highly competitive environment, operations and management techniques are also developing at a fast pace, with innovations such as inspection flights with drones and preventive maintenance based on data analytics.