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Really valuable post, thanks for the detailed and thorough review of a complex but critical topic (though I must admit the TS Diagram Rankine Cycle gave me immediate horror flash backs to my engineering classes from college!)
Not only are combined-cycle plants exceptionally efficient, they are also easy to operate with very low build costs and low priced energy. By contrast, coal and nuclear plants are much more expensive to build and operate. Land needs are insignificant, unlike renewable energy which requires vast acreage..