Gas combined-cycle power plants' capital expenditures in the U.S. 2020-2050

The capital expenditure of a typical natural gas combined-cycle power plant was expected to amount to 1,066 U.S. dollars per kilowatt in 2020, but it is estimated to decrease to 913 U.S. dollars per kilowatt by 2050. Capital expenditure (CAPEX) of the power plant refers to the amount that needs to be spent to achieve commercial operation within that year.

Natural gas plants

In a conventional gas-fired combustion turbine, air is compressed and fed into a combustion chamber at extremely high speeds. Within the combustion system, the air is mixed with fuel and is then combusted resulting in a high-temperature and high-pressure gas stream that enters and expands through the turbine, rotating the blades to spin a generator to produce electricity. In comparison, a combined-cycle natural gas turbine uses a heat recovery steam generator that converts that hot exhaust from the turbine to generate steam. This could generate additional electricity through a steam turbine. The cost of constructing a conventional combustion turbine is less than that of combined cycle plants or internal combustion engines.

Projected capital expenditure of a conventional natural gas combined-cycle power plant in the United States in 2020, 2030, and 2050

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Release date

October 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* All costs in 2018 U.S. dollars. Inflation assumption of 2.5 percent per year.

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Statistics on "Natural gas energy in the U.S."

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