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Does the 2050 Costs calculator account for system costs

e have accounted for system costs and intermittency in the 2050 Pathways analysis, although any further evidence or comments on how we can improve our cost sources and methodology would be greatly appreciated.

For example, please see the effects, which we model when level 2 offshore wind build is chosen:

60GW of Offshore wind turbine capacity by 2050 (high cost scenario):

Cost elements Cost Cumulative cost
Offshore wind plant build 12.1186 12.1186
Financing cost 2.3777 14.4963
Grid re-inforcement 0.5369 15.0332
Back up capacity and/or pumped storage 0.4602 15.4934
Reduced cost of the Gas Grid -0.3835 15.1099
Reduced cost of building Gas CCGTs -2.0709 13.039
Less Natural Gas consumed -8.5137 4.5253

Total system cost = 4.5

Note: figures purely for illustrative purpose

How does the calculator treat the cost of intermittent generation?

2050 Costs work does this by costing the back-up capacity needed in a worst case scenario. This is assumed to be a very cold, windless 5 day period. This will reduce wind, solar and wave output by roughly 80% (intermittency of supply) whilst simultaneously increasing demand for heating (seasonal demand variation). Running the scenario produces the implied back up generation and/or electricity imports needed, which is included in the costs. Please see: VII.c Storage, demand shifting, interconnection Costs

A user can also choose to increase electricity balancing through more pumped storage, battery storage, greater interconnector capacity or demand shifting from car batteries. The cost of the first three is included but the behavioural switch does not currently assume a cost.

We believe the test shows the maximum build that may be required as back up to meet peak demand based on the best available data. However, we need to improve the evidence on the frequency (or load factor) for which the back up generation would be required. Any evidence or comments on this would be very welcome.

Does the 2050 Costs calculator account for system costs?

Yes we have included the costs of the electricity grid here: VII.b Electricity grid distribution costs and the gas network here: XVI.a Fossil fuel transfers Costs. We also include other fuel infrastructure costs, please see 'Other fuel infrastructure' in Sectors in the Calculator.

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