Heat source and application-dependent levelized cost of decarbonized heat
Cost-effective decarbonization ofheat,thedominantend-useofenergy globally, is a grand scientific and technological challenge. Despite its importance, a technoeconomic framework to comparatively evaluate heat sources has not received the same attention asthelevelizedcostofelectricity(LCOE).Here,wedevelopageneralizable framework for calculating the levelized cost of heat (LCOH) for arbitrary heat sources andheatingapplicationswhile accounting for carbonmitigation.Wedemonstratetheframeworkthroughcase studies that span seven heat sources and four applications at temperatures ranging from 80C to 1,200C, using representative values from across the United States. We project costs toward 2050andsuggestseveral insights and research directions. Notably, natural gas is likely the cheapest heat source in the United States even after paying for carbon capture, and dramatic reductions in the cost and availability of renewable energy and energy storage are needed to enable cost- and emissions-favorable electrification.