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Evaluating the power investment options with uncertainty in climate policy

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  • Yang, Ming
  • Blyth, William
  • Bradley, Richard
  • Bunn, Derek
  • Clarke, Charlie
  • Wilson, Tom
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    Abstract

    This paper uses a real options approach (ROA) for analysing the effects of government climate policy uncertainty on private investors' decision-making in the power sector. It presents an analysis undertaken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that implements ROA within a dynamic programming approach for technology investment choice. Case studies for gas, coal and nuclear power investment are undertaken with the model. Illustrative results from the model indicate four broad conclusions: i) climate change policy risks can become large if there is only a short time between a future climate policy event such as post-2012 and the time when the investment decision is being made; ii) the way in which CO2 and fuel price variations feed through to electricity price variations is an important determinant of the overall investment risk that companies will face; iii) investment risks vary according to the technology being considered, with nuclear power appearing to be particularly exposed to fuel and CO2 price risks under various assumptions; and iv) the government will be able to reduce investors' risks by implementing long-term (say 10 years) rather than short-term (say 5 years) climate change policy frameworks. Contributions of this study include: (1) having created a step function with stochastic volume of jump at a particular time to simulate carbon price shock under a particular climate policy event; (2) quantifying the implicit risk premium of carbon price uncertainty to investors in new capacity; (3) evaluating carbon price risk alongside energy price risk in investment decision-making; and (4) demonstrating ROA to be a useful tool to quantify the impacts of climate change policy uncertainty on power investment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 1933-1950

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1933-1950

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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    1. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2006. "A Real Options Approach to Evaluating New Nuclear Power Plants," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 87-54.
    2. Kuper, Gerhard H. & Soest, Daan P. van, 2003. "Does oil price uncertainty affect energy use?," CCSO Working Papers 200306, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    3. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    4. Laurikka, Harri, 2006. "Option value of gasification technology within an emissions trading scheme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3916-3928, December.
    5. Lin, Tyrone T. & Ko, Chuan-Chuan & Yeh, Hsin-Ni, 2007. "Applying real options in investment decisions relating to environmental pollution," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2426-2432, April.
    6. Marreco, Juliana de Moraes & Carpio, Lucio Guido Tapia, 2006. "Flexibility valuation in the Brazilian power system: A real options approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(18), pages 3749-3756, December.
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