DECC consistently misled public over electricity costs
Nov 18, 2015
Bishop Hill in Bureaucrats, DECC, Energy: grid

An interesting tweet from former DECC chief scientist David Mackay yesterday:


.@paulyb2008 I agree, LCOE is an unhelpful metric. We need to think about whole-system cost.

— David MacKay FRS (@davidjcmackay) November 17, 2015


As readers here know, I have been quite strongly against the use of levelised costs (LCOE), referring to it as "the great levelised costs lie". It's therefore gratifying to see Mackay publicly agreeing with me.

I asked Mackay about this:


@aDissentient @paulyb2008 Yes,+ I always said that whole-system cost was what mattered; and often DECC analysis did include balancing costs

— David MacKay FRS (@davidjcmackay) November 17, 2015


It's a pity that this use of whole system costs was not extended to, say, the regular statements on comparative costs of electricity generation that DECC has been putting out for years, including all the time that Mackay was in position as chief scientist. These have exclusively used levelised costs.

But it's good that an insider has finally admitted that the government has been misleading us about electricity costs for years.

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