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Renewable energy investments under different support schemes: A real options approach

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  • Boomsma, Trine Krogh
  • Meade, Nigel
  • Fleten, Stein-Erik

Abstract

This paper adopts a real options approach to analyze investment timing and capacity choice for renewable energy projects under different support schemes. The main purpose is to examine investment behavior under the most extensively employed support schemes, namely, feed-in tariffs and renewable energy certificate trading. We consider both multiple sources of uncertainty under each support scheme and uncertainty with respect to any change of support scheme, and we obtain both analytical (when possible) and numerical solutions. In a Nordic case study based on wind power, we find that the feed-in tariff encourages earlier investment. Nevertheless, as investment has been undertaken, renewable energy certificate trading creates incentives for larger projects. In our baseline scenario and taking the fixed feed-in tariff as a base, the revenue required to trigger investments is 61% higher with renewable certificates. At the same time, investment capacity is 61% higher.

Suggested Citation

  • Boomsma, Trine Krogh & Meade, Nigel & Fleten, Stein-Erik, 2012. "Renewable energy investments under different support schemes: A real options approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 225-237.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:220:y:2012:i:1:p:225-237
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.01.017
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