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La valorisation du projet nucléaire EPR par la méthode des options réelles

Listed author(s):
  • Anne Epaulard
  • Stéphane Gallon

[eng] Costing the EPR Project Using the Real Options Method by Anne Épaulard and Stéphane Gallon Real options theory makes it possible to cost investments which offer flexibility but whose returns are uncertain, such as the construction in 2000 of an EPR prototype ; this prototype will enable the European pressurised-water reactor (EPR) to be used to renew EDF''s nuclear power stations in 2020 (flexibility) but its economic worth will then depend on the cost of the competing gas-fired power plants (uncertain return). Options theory shows that investing in EPR technology in 2000 provides sufficient flexibility in 2020 to be considered cost-effective, even though use of EPRs is unlikely by that date. The investment made in 2000 to develop EPR technology therefore actually plays the part of an option or, in other words, insurance (against the risk of high gas prices). Key-words : Real options, nuclear power, electricity, gas price, investment, flexibility. JEL Classification : D81, Q4. [fre] La théorie des options réelles permet de valoriser des investissements qui offrent de la flexibilité mais dont les rendements sont incertains, comme la construction en 2000 d’un prototype nucléaire EPR. Ce prototype permet en effet l’utilisation de l’EPR pour renouveler le parc nucléaire d’EDF en 2020 (flexibilité), mais son intérêt économique dépendra alors du coût des centrales à gaz concurrentes (rendement incertain). La théorie des options montre qu’investir dans la technologie EPR en 2000 apporte suffisamment de flexibilité en 2020 pour être jugé rentable, alors même que l’utilisation de l’EPR est peu probable à cette échéance. L’investissement consenti en 2000 pour développer la technologie EPR joue donc véritablement le rôle d’une option, autrement dit celui d’une assurance (contre le risque de prix élevés du gaz). Mots-clés : options réelles, nucléaire, électricité, prix du gaz, investissement, flexibilité. Classification JEL : D81, Q4.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Économie & prévision.

Volume (Year): 149 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 29-50

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Handle: RePEc:prs:ecoprv:ecop_0249-4744_2001_num_149_3_6290
Note: DOI:10.3406/ecop.2001.6290
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  1. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-622, June.
  2. Anne Épaulard & Stéphane Gallon, 2001. "La valorisation du projet nucléaire EPR par la méthode des options réelles," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 149(3), pages 29-50.
  3. James L. Paddock & Daniel R. Siegel & James L. Smith, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508.
  4. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Anne Épaulard & Stéphane Gallon, 2001. "La valorisation du projet nucléaire EPR par la méthode des options réelles," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 149(3), pages 29-50.
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