Research Associate, University of Texas Energy Institute

Joshua Rhodes

Interviewer: David Spence, Interview date:  4/10/19


Tinkering with Energy Tradeoffs Online

by Joshua Rhodes - click here (video opens in new window)

“In this tool we calculated the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for 12 different electricity generation technologies, in all 3,110 counties in the lower 48 states. This tool shows you the cheapest technology to build in each county.  But it also allows you to include externalities, and change their dollar values, to see how it influences which technology is cheapest. You can also change capital costs and see what happens.”

We also calculate the costs of electricity, excluding subsidies.  So our cost numbers may look higher than PPAs signed today.  But you can use the tool to change those numbers.”

“The tool doesn’t say that you can run your grid completely on the cheapest source of energy.  As you build more of one technology, the local economics change.”


Joshua D. Rhodes, Ph.D. is now Senior Energy System Modeler and Analyst at Vibrant Clean Energy.  At the time of this interview he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in The Webber Energy Group and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a double bachelors in Mathematics and Economics from Stephen F. Austin State University, a masters in Computational Mathematics from Texas A&M University, a masters in Architectural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys CrossFit, mountain biking, rock climbing, and living it up in ATX.

  • LCOE tools – Full Cost of Electricity Study (Univ. of Texas)

To learn more about Joshua Rhodes, please visit his home page: HERE