The full cost of electricity generation - how does PV compare today?
A first analysis of the social costs of competing technologies for electric power generation published in 1988 has induced a rather controversial scientific discussion about the magnitude and the possible ways to incorporate cost elements not included in energy prices today in decision on energy systems. Different research projects following up a number of controversial or unanswered questions in the field of social costs have been started in the FRG, in Europe and Overseas. A first "counter-study" has been published in the FRG in 1989. The paper summarizes the latest results of the international scientific discussion and research and sketches possible future trends in this field of research and the practical and political implementation of its results. A first estimate of the consideration of global warming effects due to conventional electricity generation is included in addition to recalculated results on topics addressed by the author in 1988. It concludes that the figures calculat ed in 1988 have been underestimating the magnitude of the costs not included in the energy prices and that new calculations including further results on COsub2 lead to significantly higher figures. The difference of the costs not included in the price of conventional electricity and photovoltaics rises from 11.9 to 19.6 Pf/kWh on average with an estimated range of 6.2 to 33.1 Pf/kWh (1 DM equals 100 Pf equals 0.5 ECU).