How do Electricity Supply Options Compare?

There are many sources of electricity supply and each has its own characteristics.

Indeed you can go further than that and say that no two electricity sources can be directly and exactly substituted, from a market (and hence business) perspective. Yes, they may both produce electricity, but that doesn’t mean they are direct substitutes on other measures: emissions, flexibility, sustainability and so on.

So understanding and comparing some of the key features of these different supply options is crucial in assessing their competitive and practical positioning in different markets, and in determining the most appropriate supply mix.

In the video lesson below, these various sources of electricity supply are listed, and then compared and contrasted with respect to some of the most significant factors which impact their usage and economics

In particular:

  • Whether or not they are really “renewable”
  • Whether or not they depend on a transportable fuel
  • Whether or not they emit fossil carbon during operation
  • Whether or not they produce heat energy, which is then converted to electricity
  • The nature of their variability (and whether we can choose when and when not to generate electricity)