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Variable Capacity Utilization, Ambient Temperature Shocks and Generation Asset Valuation


  • Chung-Li

    () (Australian School of Business, The University of New South Wales)

  • Wei Zhu

    () (First Choice Power Inc.)

  • Alexandre Dmitriev

    () (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)


This paper discusses generation asset valuation in a framework where capital utilization decisions are endogenous. We use real options approach for valuation of natural gas fuelled turbines. Capital utilization choices that we explore include turning on/off the unit, operating the unit at increased firing temperatures (overfiring), and conducting preventive maintenance. Overfiring provides capacity enhancement which comes at the expense of reduced maintenance interval and increased costs of part replacement. We consider the costs and benefits of overfiring in attempt to maximize the asset value by optimally exercising the overfire option. In addition to stochastic processes governing prices, we incorporate an exogenous productivity shock: ambient temperature. We consider how variation in ambient temperature affects the asset value through its effect on gas turbine’s productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Chung-Li & Wei Zhu & Alexandre Dmitriev, 2009. "Variable Capacity Utilization, Ambient Temperature Shocks and Generation Asset Valuation," Discussion Papers 2009-14, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2009-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baxter, Marianne & Farr, Dorsey D., 2005. "Variable capital utilization and international business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 335-347, March.
    2. Davis, Graham A. & Owens, Brandon, 2003. "Optimizing the level of renewable electric R&D expenditures using real options analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 1589-1608, December.
    3. In, Francis & Yoon, Jai Hyung, 2007. "Determination of asset prices with an investment-specific technology model: Implications for the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2637-2658, August.
    4. Sean D. Campbell & Francis X. Diebold, 2005. "Weather Forecasting for Weather Derivatives," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 6-16, March.
    5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    6. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lee E. Ohanian, 2002. "Why did productivity fall so much during the Great Depression?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
    8. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Malliaris, A.G. & Kyrtsou, C., 2009. "Editorial introduction of the special issue: "Energy sector pricing and macroeconomic dynamics"," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 825-826, November.

    More about this item


    Electricity generation asset valuation; overfire option; price uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General

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