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Investment timing and optimal capacity choice for small hydropower projects

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  • Bøckman, Thor
  • Fleten, Stein-Erik
  • Juliussen, Erik
  • Langhammer, Håvard J.
  • Revdal, Ingemar

Abstract

This paper presents a method for assessing small hydropower projects that are subject to uncertain electricity prices. We present a real options-based method with continuous scaling, and we find that there is a unique price limit for initiating the project. If the current electricity price is below this limit it is never optimal to invest, but above this limit investment is made according to the function for optimal size. The connection between the real option and the physical properties of a small hydropower plant is dealt with using a spreadsheet model that performs a technical simulation of the production in a plant, based on all the important choices for such a plant. The main results of the spreadsheet are simulated production size and the investment costs, which are in turn used for finding the value of the real option and the price limit. The method is illustrated on three different Norwegian small hydropower projects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

Volume (Year): 190 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 255-267

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:190:y:2008:i:1:p:255-267

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  1. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Lee, Shun-Chung, 2011. "Using real option analysis for highly uncertain technology investments: The case of wind energy technology," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4443-4450.
  2. Elverhøi, Morten & Fleten, Stein-Erik & Fuss, Sabine & Heggedal, Ane Marte & Szolgayova, Jana & Troland, Ole Christian, 2010. "Evaluation of hydropower upgrade projects - a real options approach," MPRA Paper 23005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ardizzon, G. & Cavazzini, G. & Pavesi, G., 2014. "A new generation of small hydro and pumped-hydro power plants: Advances and future challenges," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 746-761.
  4. Martínez Ceseña, E.A. & Mutale, J. & Rivas-Dávalos, F., 2013. "Real options theory applied to electricity generation projects: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 573-581.
  5. Sandt, Christopher J. & Doyle, Martin W., 2013. "The hydrologic and economic feasibility of micro hydropower upfitting and integration of existing low-head dams in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 261-271.
  6. E. Brandão, Luiz & Dyer, James S. & Hahn, Warren J., 2012. "Volatility estimation for stochastic project value models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 220(3), pages 642-648.
  7. Lin, Boqiang & Wesseh, Presley K., 2013. "Valuing Chinese feed-in tariffs program for solar power generation: A real options analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 474-482.
  8. Huisman, K.J.M. & Kort, P.M., 2013. "Strategic Capacity Investment Under uncertainty," Discussion Paper 2013-003, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Sbuelz, Alessandro & Caliari, Marco, 2012. "Revisiting corporate growth options in the presence of state-dependent cashflow risk," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 286-294.
  10. Mishra, Sachin & Singal, S.K. & Khatod, D.K., 2011. "Optimal installation of small hydropower plant—A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3862-3869.
  11. Kroniger, Daniel & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Hydrogen Storage for Wind Parks - A Real Options Evaluation for an Optimal Investment in More Flexibility," FCN Working Papers 3/2013, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  12. Fernandes, Bartolomeu & Cunha, Jorge & Ferreira, Paula, 2011. "The use of real options approach in energy sector investments," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 4491-4497.

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