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Plug Into Newly Released 2024 US Electricity Sector Data

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10th Annual Technology Baseline Features New Data on Offshore Wind Energy, Nuclear Power, Pumped Storage Hydropower, and More

Today—nicknamed “ATB Day” by a superfan—marks the release of the 10th annual electricity sector data for the Electricity Annual Technology Baseline (ATB).

“For a decade, the Electricity ATB has been supporting consistent, timely assumptions in energy analyses,” said Brian Mirletz, who leads the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Electricity ATB project. “The free, open-source product provides detailed cost and performance data for energy technologies.”

The Electricity ATB continues to serve as a valuable resource for utility planners and grid operators to understand and tackle new challenges in the ever-changing power landscape. The product organizes both current and projected data into an easy-to-use format, providing detailed information tailored to different electricity-generation technologies.

The just-released 2024 Electricity ATB includes new and improved data for offshore wind energy, nuclear power, pumped storage hydropower, natural gas technologies, and more.

With nearly 100,000 users from 144 countries to date, the Electricity ATB is widely used. It also serves as the foundation to many of NREL’s flagship energy analysis projects and capabilities including the Standard ScenariosStorage Futures StudyLos Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study, and Puerto Rico Grid Resilience and Transitions to 100% Renewable Energy Study.

This Year’s Additions to the ATB Arsenal

The 2024 Electricity ATB includes the following exciting technology-specific upgrades:

  • Offshore Wind: An updated approach to floating offshore wind cost projection to better represent the maturation process for the technology
  • Nuclear Power: New capital cost data and projections from Idaho National Laboratory for both large-scale and advanced small modular nuclear power
  • Geothermal: Improved alignment between representative geothermal plants
  • Pumped Storage Hydropower: Added sites that use existing reservoirs and transitioned to a new, more comprehensive bottom-up capital cost model
  • Natural Gas: New configurations that include a single-combustion turbine with heat recovery for a steam turbine.

A Peek at the Powerful ATB Products

The Electricity ATB caters to a diverse audience—including federal agencies, state energy offices, utilities, and academia—by offering multiple formats such as Excel workbooks, Tableau charts (like the one embedded below), an application programming interface, open-source code, and a website. This range of products enhances accessibility, accommodating different user preferences and facilitating seamless data interaction all in one place.

“The ATB is clearly a work of love by diligent researchers who handle complex data and translate it into publicly usable information. It peels back the curtain of proprietary data so decision makers can access world-class information critical for their proceedings,” said Simon Mahan, executive director at Southern Renewable Energy Association.

The ATB website provides in-depth documentation of the key products, including:

  • Details on historical trends, current estimates, and future projections of three primary cost and performance factors: capital expenditures, capacity factor, and operations and maintenance costs
  • Documentation of the methodology and assumptions used to develop the projections of future cost and performance under conservative, moderate, and advanced technology innovation scenarios
  • Discussion of the calculation of levelized cost of energy to illustrate the combined effects of the primary cost and performance factors, using two different sets of financing assumptions.

Join July 23 Webinar To Learn More

To learn more and discuss the analytical products included in the 2024 Electricity ATB, register to join a free NREL webinar with the Electricity ATB team on July 23, 2024, at 9 a.m. MT.

The development of the 2024 Electricity ATB was a collaboration led by NREL in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, and DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

Read more about NREL’s energy analysis research, and subscribe to NREL’s energy analysis emails to receive updates.

By Emily Mercer. Courtesy of NREL.

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