Energy intensive infrastructure investments with retrofits in continuous time : effects of uncertainty on energy use and carbon emissions
AbstractEnergy-intensive infrastructure may tie up fossil energy use and carbon emissions for a long time after investments, making the structure of such investments crucial for society. Much or most of the resulting carbon emissions can often be eliminated later, through a costly retrofit. This paper studies the simultaneous decision to invest in such infrastructure, and retrofit it later, in a model where future climate damages are uncertain and follow a geometric Brownian motion process with positive drift. It shows that greater uncertainty about climate cost (for given unconditional expected costs) then delays the retrofit decision by increasing the option value of waiting to invest. Higher energy intensity is also chosen for the initial infrastructure when uncertainty is greater. These decisions are efficient given that energy and carbon prices facing the decision maker are (globally) correct, but inefficient when they are lower, which is more typical. Greater uncertainty about future climate costs will then further increase lifetime carbon emissions from the infrastructure, related both to initial investments, and to too infrequent retrofits when this emissions level is already too high. An initially excessive climate gas emissions level is then likely to be worsened when volatility increases.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6430.
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Climate Change Economics; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Energy Production and Transportation; Environmental Economics&Policies;
Other versions of this item:
- Framstad, Nils Chr. & Strand, Jon, 2013. "Energy Intensive Infrastructure Investments with Retrofits in Continuous Time: Effects of Uncertainty on Energy Use and Carbon Emissions," Memorandum 11/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2013-05-11 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2013-05-11 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-PPM-2013-05-11 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-REG-2013-05-11 (Regulation)
- NEP-RES-2013-05-11 (Resource Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Guy Meunier & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2012.
"How inertia and limited potentials affect the timing of sectoral abatements in optimal climate policy,"
- Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "How inertia and limited potentials affect the timing of sectoral abatements in optimal climate policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6154, The World Bank.
- Anas, Alex & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2009. "Lock-in effects of road expansion on CO2 emissions : results from a core-periphery model of Beijing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5017, The World Bank.
- Balikcioglu, Metin & Fackler, Paul L. & Pindyck, Robert S., 2011. "Solving optimal timing problems in environmental economics," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 761-768, September.
- Framstad, N.C., 2011. "A remark on R.S. Pindyck: "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy"," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 756-760, September.
- Strand, Jon & Miller, Sebastian, 2010. "Climate cost uncertainty, retrofit cost uncertainty, and infrastructure closedown : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5208, The World Bank.
- Strand, Jon & Miller, Sebastian & Siddiqui, Sauleh, 2011. "Infrastructure investments under uncertainty with the possibility of retrofit : theory and simulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5516, The World Bank.
- Pindyck, Robert S., 2002. "Optimal timing problems in environmental economics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1677-1697, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.