Regional Guidance from the PRIF

The Renewable Energy Costs in the Pacific study analysed the capital costs of large solar photovoltaic, wind and hydro generation projects built in the Pacific over the past decade.

There is a large range of project costs for renewable generation projects in the Pacific. This is due to a variety of factors including remoteness, scale, local capacity, perceptions of risk, design parameters and any upgrades for existing infrastructure included in the project scope. There are numerous challenges in obtaining cost breakdown data and making like-with-like comparisons. Insufficient cost breakdown data was obtained from wind and hydro generation projects to analyse trends.

This report focuses on capital costs (CAPEX) while the importance of operation and maintenance costs (OPEX) and Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) are acknowledged. This is particularly so in the PV-battery-diesel mini-grid sector where there are examples of CAPEX being minimised in a manner that increases OPEX and LCOE. As the deployment of batteries is expected to increase in the Pacific region, the issue of assessing forecast life cycle costs and battery life are likely to increase in importance.

In addition, the impacts and costs of disposing of solar PVs and batteries is a growing concern in the Pacific. It is being investigated in a separate PRIF study on "Pacific Region Solid Waste Management and Recycling".