The financial and economic feasibility of hydroelectric dams depends on the value of the electricity they produce. The financial wholesale price of electricity refers to the price the dam operator actually receives. The economic value of electricity - i.e. the real value of that energy to the economy - may be different from the financial price due to taxes, subsidies or monopoly pricing that applies to the financial price. In the calculator, you should use the economic value, which reflects the marginal generation cost of likely alternative sources of electricity. If you don't know it, use an average market price, but be aware that there may be distortions in the market that can make this price artificially high or low. It's worth testing your analysis with a range of prices.
It is important to use the *wholesale price and not the retail price that consumers pay. The consumers' price includes the cost of transmission, distribution and any administrative or other fees that might be imposed by regulators of the electricity sector.
*Wholesale price of energy data, both current prices and projected trends, is somewhat difficult information to find. If you know of sources of such information for any country in the HydroCalculator which you believe may benefit the accuracy of the model, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a simple graphic breakdown about wholesale versus retail electricity.
Read a report showing the relationship between retail prices and wholesale costs.
View some wholesale market data for six major electricity trading hubs.
Read a paper by OECD and Inter-American Development Bank on designing competitive wholesale electricity markets for Latin American countries.
Types of sources listed (including articles, electricity generating company websites, energy statistics databases, among others) vary greatly. Starred links represent sources from which the HydroCalculator model draws its wholesale electricity price for that country. The source’s figure was used because we believe it to exhibit the least amount of economic distortion of all prices encountered, thus most closely reflecting the country’s actual wholesale price of electricity.
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HydroCalculator Tool Help
- How to estimate the number of displaced people
- Wholesale price of energy
- Compare impacts to other dams
- Capacity used
- Vegetation types & biomass
- Key assumptions and how the HydroCalculator works
- Discount rate
- Transmission infrastructure cost
- Construction cost
- Construction time
- Installed capacity
- Energy Mix Graphics
- Emissions Graphics
- How to use the HydroCalculator Tool
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