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Distributed Generation Energy Technology Capital Costs

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The following charts indicate recent capital cost estimates for distributed generation (DG) renewable energy technologies. The estimates are shown in dollars per installed kilowatt of generating capacity or thermal energy capacity for thermal technologies.

The charts provide a compilation of available national-level cost data from a variety of sources. Costs in your specific location will vary.

The red horizontal lines represent the first standard deviation of the mean.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sponsored the distributed generation data used within these charts.

If you are seeking utility-scale technology capital cost estimates, please visit the Transparent Cost Database website for NREL's information regarding vehicles, biofuels, and electricity generation.

Capital Cost
(September 2013 Update)
Operations & Maintenance
(September 2013 Update)
Utility-Scale Capacity Factors Useful Life Land Use by System Technology LCOE Calculator
Chart showing average installation cost of distributed generation energy technologies.
Costs for Thermal Technologies
Technology Type Mean Installed Cost Installed Cost
Std. Dev.
(+/-)
Solar Water Heat, flat plate and evacuated tube ($/ft2) $141 $82
Solar Water Heat, plastic collector ($/ft2) $59 $15
Solar Vent Preheat ($/ft2) $31 $15
Biomass Wood Heat ($/kW) $600 $361
Ground Source Heat Pump ($/ton) $7,518 $4,164


Data and Charts for Download:

  1. Distributed Generation Renewable Energy Estimate of Costs (August 2013)