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Gas-fired power plants: Investment timing, operating flexibility and CO2 capture

Listed author(s):
  • Fleten, Stein-Erik
  • Näsäkkälä, Erkka

We analyze investments in gas-fired power plants based on stochastic electricity and natural gas prices. A simple but realistic two-factor model is used for price processes, enabling analysis of the value of operating flexibility, the opportunity to abandon the capital equipment, as well as finding thresholds for energy prices for which it is optimal to enter into the investment. We develop a method to compute upper and lower bounds on plant values and investment threshold levels. Our case study uses representative power plant investment and operations data, and historical forward prices from well-functioning energy markets. We find that when the decision to build is considered, the abandonment option does not have significant value, whereas the operating flexibility and time-to-build option have significant effect on the building threshold. Furthermore, the joint value of the operating flexibility and the abandonment option is much smaller than the sum of their separate values, because both are options to shut down. The effects of emission costs on the value of installing CO2 capture technology are also analyzed.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140-9883(09)00138-8
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 805-816

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:32:y:2010:i:4:p:805-816
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Abadie, Luis M. & Chamorro, José M., 2008. "Valuing flexibility: The case of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power plant," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1850-1881, July.
  2. Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Maribu, Karl, 2009. "Investment and upgrade in distributed generation under uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-37, January.
  3. Denny Ellerman, 1998. "Note on The Seemingly Indefinite Extension of Power Plant Lives, A Panel Contribution," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
  4. Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987. "Time to build, option value, and investment decisions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
  5. Eduardo Schwartz & James E. Smith, 2000. "Short-Term Variations and Long-Term Dynamics in Commodity Prices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(7), pages 893-911, July.
  6. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
  7. David Heath & Robert Jarrow & Andrew Morton, 2008. "Bond Pricing And The Term Structure Of Interest Rates: A New Methodology For Contingent Claims Valuation," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 13, pages 277-305 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  8. Nasakkala, Erkka & Fleten, Stein-Erik, 2005. "Flexibility and technology choice in gas fired power plant investments," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 371-393.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
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