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The costs could only be estimated very roughly within the scope of this feasibility study. This is therefore not a business case, but a purely bottom-up addition, supplemented by a delta consideration of the costs of conventional solar parks. Furthermore, the estimates refer to costs after realization of the considerable economies of scale for Germany and not to the initial costs for pilot projects.

A business case would need to include the added value of having Energy Bands running towards or past many consumers during power generation, resulting in volatility balancing of the load profiles they serve along the way, and potentially volatility balancing in generation due to regionally varying weather.

The revenue from this, as well as the resulting significant decrease in storage costs is not yet accounted for in this cost estimate, either.

In addition, there is the added value from the self-amortizing laying of high-current cables, which not only transmit the self-produced electricity of the Energy Bands, but can also collect electricity produced by decentralized smaller third-party generators along their routes and transmit it to consumers or storage facilities - i.e., take a volatile electricity volume for which the conventional grids of the established utilities are not designed.

The same is true of the added value created by co-laying fiber optic cables in the high-current cable ducts: If trenches were to be dug along the highway solely for the power and fiber optic cables, these investments would only be offset by revenues in the very medium and long term. Due to the revenues from the electricity production of the Energy Bands above them, the amortization of the cable installation costs starts immediately after completion of the laying.

A rough cost estimate shows that Energy Bands can be competitively priced at 31 Euro/MWh in the first 30 years and significantly cheaper than most other forms of energy generation in subsequent investment cycles over decades (or even over 100 years and longer) at a sustainable 13 Euro/MWh

Stiftung Altes Neuland Frankfurt GNU

The mast infrastructure is the most expensive component of the Energy Bands in Germany, but this is a sensible investment: It ultimately replaces the use of land area that would otherwise be covered by PV modules and darkened and heated with a negative albedo effect - an environmental impact that would otherwise have to be "paid for", but are omitted in the case with the Energy Bands

In some sections, the mast infrastructure can also be used more intensively: A third row of PV modules can be added, the poles themselves can be planked with PV modules, or the PV modules can be made 10 or 20 percent larger. Such more intensive planking would only marginally increase the cost of the poles, but can increase the electricity yield by 15% to 20%.

If generation increases from 201 TWh/a to 235 TWh/a through more intensive use of the pylon/mast construction landscape, then 1 MWh of electricity produced by Energy Bands costs only 27 Euro/MWh in the first 30 years and in subsequent investment cycles the price drops to 11 Euro/MWh

Stiftung Altes Neuland Frankfurt GNU

Energy Bands are particularly interesting in the long term: As soon as their largest cost block, the pylons/masts, are depreciated, they are unrivaled in price - and without any adverse effects on the environment due to any blanket darkening of Germany's land surface and the accompanying climatic warming


Equipping Energy Bands with additional high-voltage cables to merge them into a high-capacity “Energy Internet” would be marginal in terms of costs, as the poles/masts and photovoltaic modules represent disproportionately larger cost blocks

If not only a high-voltage cable is laid to the right and left of the highway, but also a third or fourth 110 kV cable would be added in the cable trenches, the costs per MWh increase only marginally from 31 to 32 cents in the first investment period of 30 years considered, since the cost share of the high-current cables in the total costs is comparatively negligible.


At the same time, though, the Energy Bands generate the costs for the “Energy Internet” infrastructure.

Stiftung Altes Neuland Frankfurt GNU
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Case Study BASF/HC: Power generation by Energy Bands can be done in the Rhine-Neckar region with competitive prices

The costs for conversion to hydrogen, however, are difficult to estimate and therefore not included in this rough calculation, especially since massive economies of scale can be expected here in the coming years

Stiftung Altes Neuland Frankfurt GNU

The costs per MWh for BASF and HC are higher than the national average because highway and federal road sections were selected for which the maximum occupancy of masts and PV modules (three rows of double-planted masts) was not assumed in every section. If a more intensive use of the poles is assumed, e.g. with three PV module rows, then the costs also drop here to below 30 euros per MWh.