DOE releases new database of cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicle, and renewable fuel technologies
16 July 2012
|TCDB plot of projected total cost of battery-electric vehicles to manufacturers. Click to enlarge.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new public database featuring cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicle, and renewable fuel technologies. The Transparent Cost Database (TCDB) provides technology cost estimates for companies, utilities, policy makers, consumers, and academics, and can be used to benchmark company costs, model energy scenarios, and inform research and development decisions.
The database, developed by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with funding from the DOE of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, makes it much easier to view the range of estimates for what energy technologies, such as a utility-scale wind farm, rooftop solar installation, biofuel production plant, or an electric vehicle, might cost today or in the future.
|TCDB plot of projected total cost of fuel-cell vehicles to manufacturers. Click to enlarge.|
The TCDB is part of DOE’s Open Energy Information platform (Open EI). The TCDB provides access to published historical and projected cost targets and performance estimates developed by DOE, in a place that is easy to find and update. The cost data are sourced from published studies and DOE program-planning or budget documents that, while public, were previously difficult to find and collect.
The database currently contains thousands of estimates from more than 100 reports. The estimates and targets in the TCDB are a result of DOE’s road-mapping process for various technologies. The goal of these roadmaps is to guide research and development investments and to define success metrics for a given technology program. The roadmaps used in part to generate the TCDB provide detailed engineering-based estimates of steps to reduce cost and improve performance.
The new database will soon allow experts outside of DOE to contribute reliable new data to continually expand and validate the cost information available to the public. All data will be viewable and downloadable from the Open Energy Information platform, OpenEI.org, and arranged so users can see a range of cost and performance numbers, as well as reports on potential improvements.
TCDB is still under development. Users are welcome to submit suggestions for additional functionality to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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