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Insights & Reports

Powering the Nation


As a contribution to the Energy Debate, Parsons Brinckerhoff regularly reports on the costs of generating electricity in the UK on the basis of its extensive knowledge and experience of the electricity generation industry.

In March 2010, the company issued the 2010 update to its Powering the Nation report which reflects recent major changes in the economy and in the power plant market. First issued in 2006 - and updated in 2008 - the report is used by both the private and public sectors as a benchmark guide for power generation costs.

The 2010 update covers a range of generating technologies including tidal, offshore and onshore wind, combined and open cycle gas turbines, conventional and clean coal, biomass and nuclear. It also factors in the potential cost of carbon capture and storage attached to coal and gas generation.

The report uses a sophisticated analysis model, developed specifically for Powering the Nation, which takes account of multiple factors for each generation type including predicted costs for fuel, carbon, operation and maintenance. It also includes factors reflecting optimum plant life and construction scheduling.

The following PDF documents are available to view and download:

The 2010 Powering the Nation update closely follows the issue of a separate but related report by Parsons Brinckerhoff at the end of 2009. Powering the Future - mapping our low-carbon path to 2050 which was launched on 23 November 2009 is one of the first comprehensive independent studies to examine the full implications - across transport, industry, residential, commercial and power sectors - of meeting the government's 2050 carbon reduction commitments. It also identifies critical areas for further in-depth work at a strategic and sector level.

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Maria Laffey