Press Release
Paris, 16 March 2005

New figures on the costs of generating electricity released today

A new study of the costs of generating electricity was published today by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Previous editions of Projected Costs of Generating Electricity have served as the reference in this field for energy policy makers, electricity system analysts and energy economists. The study is particularly timely in the light of current discussions of energy policy in many countries.

The joint IEA/NEA study provides generation cost estimates for over a hundred power plants that use a variety of fuels and technologies. These include coal-fired, gas-fired, nuclear, hydro, solar and wind plants. Cost estimates are also given for combined heat and power plants that use coal, gas and combustible renewables.

Data and information for this study were provided by experts from 19 OECD member countries and 3 non-member countries. The power plants examined in the study use technologies available today and considered by participating countries as candidates for commissioning by 2010-2015 or earlier.

Investors and other decision makers will also need to take the full range of other factors into account (such as security of supply, risks and carbon emissions) when selecting an electricity generation technology.

The study shows that the competitiveness of alternative generation sources and technologies ultimately depends on many parameters: there is no clear-cut "winner". Major issues related to generation costs addressed in the report include: descriptions of state-of-the-art generation technologies; the methodologies for incorporating risk in cost assessments; the impact of carbon emission trading; and how to integrate wind power into the electricity grid. An appendix to the report provides country statements on generation technologies and costs. Previous studies in the series were published in 1983, 1986, 1990, 1993 and 1998.


Projected Costs of Generating Electricity - 2005 Update
A Joint Report by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Energy Agency OECD,
Paris 2005 - ISBN 92-64-00826-8. € 70, US$ 91, £ 47, ¥ 9 400.

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Ms. Cynthia Gannon-Picot 
Head, External Relations and Public Affairs
OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
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Pierre Lefevre
Public Affairs Advisor
International Energy Agency (IEA)

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Fax +33 (0)1 40 57 65 59

NEA membership consists of 30 OECD countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The NEA also provides authoritative assessments and forges common understandings on key issues, as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD policy analyses in areas such as energy and sustainable development.

The IEA is an autonomous body which was established in November 1974 within the framework of the OECD to implement an international energy programme. It carries out a comprehensive programme of energy co-operation among 26 of the OECD's 30 member countries. The basic aims of the IEA are: to maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions; to promote rational energy policies in a global context through co-operative relations with non-member countries, industry and international organisations; to operate a permanent information system on the international oil market; to improve the world's energy supply and demand structure by developing alternative energy sources and increasing the efficiency of energy use; and to assist in the integration of environmental and energy policies.