Exploring the Economics of Sustainable Energy : A Comparative Analysis of LCOE and System Costs for Nuclear and Offshore Wind Projects in Norway
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- Master Thesis 
This study explores the impact of input factor variability and the scope of analysis on profitability calculations for nuclear and offshore wind power in the Norwegian power market. The research employs several data sources and combines LCOE calculations and Monte Carlo simulations to assess the impact of uncertain factors on profitability estimations. Additionally, regression analyses assess the relationship between the share of the different power technologies and balancing volumes in a system. Additionally, a comprehensive discussion on system costs is included to encompass the system cost concept fully. The study's main findings include that the LCOE of offshore wind projects primarily relies on the discount rate and capacity factor. On the other hand, a potential SMR project would be impacted mainly by CAPEX and OPEX. Additionally, we find that LCOE has two significant limitations. First, the metric fails to account for the value of longevity in power production, which contradicts long-term supply and environmental objectives. Secondly, it does not count for system costs occurring beyond the scope of the project. This makes the validity and significance of the LCOE metric vary among different stakeholder groups. Another important finding is a significant but low correlation between the penetration of the different power sources and balancing volumes. While an increase in wind power penetration level is associated with an increase in imbalance volumes, the opposite effect is observed when studying the relationship with nuclear power. This could have important implications for the total costs of electricity production and suggests that a holistic approach is essential for informed decision-making regarding the future Norwegian energy mix.