Monday, July 16, 2012

Energy Department Releases Public Database for Cost of Energy- By Lauren Campbell

The Energy Department released a public database today that offers cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicle, and renewable fuel technologies. The Transparent Cost Database (TCDB) offers technology cost estimates for companies, utilities, policy makers, consumers and academics. 

Working closely with private companies to accurately assess technology costs, the TCDB provides easy access to estimates for what energy technologies might cost today and in the future. The Energy Department is hoping that the new database will assist companies and investors in making decisions involving clean energy; which will also increase the support, commercialization, and implementation of clean energy.

The TCDB provides public access to historical and projected costs of clean energy technologies. When looking through the database, there is an incredible amount of information regarding such technologies as wind, solar, and geothermal power; information on oil, gas, and petroleum was also available.

The data concerning the cost of past projects, including program planning and budget documents, while always public, were very difficult to find; until now. The database contains thousands of estimates from more than 100 reports, as well as basic information pertaining to different energy options and data collected from previous energy projects.

The road-mapping process of the various technologies, hopes to guide research and development, as well as provide success matrices for any given technology program. The roadmaps also generate detailed engineering-based estimates of steps that can be taken to reduce cost and improve performance of each given technology. This allows for outside experts to contribute to new and reliable data in order to continually expand in the information available to the public.

With such information readily available, consumers, corporations, and investors can benefit immensely. Clean energy technology is a complicated subject and with more information available better decisions can be made and clean energy can begin to grow deeper roots in our society. 

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