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How to Proceed with Competing Alternative Energy Technologies: a Real Options Analysis

  • Siddiqui, Afzal
  • Fleten, Stein-Erik

Concerns with CO2 emissions are creating incentives for the development and deployment of energy technologies that do not use fossil fuels. Indeed, such technologies would provide tangible benefits in terms of avoided fossil-fuel costs, which are likely to increase as restrictions on CO2 emissions are imposed. However, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome, and the current costs of developing new alternative energy technologies would be too high to be handled privately. We analyse how a government may proceed with a staged development of meeting electricity demand as fossil-fuel sources are being phased out. A large-scale, new alternative technology is one possibility, where one would start a major research and development programme as an intermediate step. Alternatively, the government could choose to deploy an existing renewable energy technology, and using the real options framework, we compare the two projects to provide policy implications on how one might proceed.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15502.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2008
Date of revision: 04 May 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15502
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  1. Pindyck, Robert S., 1993. "Investments of uncertain cost," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 53-76, August.
  2. Fleten, Stein-Erik & Maribu, Karl Magnus & Wangensteen, Ivar, 2005. "Optimal investment strategies in decentralized renewable power generation under uncertainty," MPRA Paper 218, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2006.
  3. Décamps, Jean-Paul & Mariotti, Thomas & Villeneuve, Stéphane, 2003. "Irreversible Investment in Alternative Projects," IDEI Working Papers 193, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jul 2004.
  4. 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.
  5. Gollier, Christian & Proult, David & Thais, Françoise & Walgenwitz, Gilles, 2004. "Choice of Nuclear Power Investments ander Price Uncertainty: Valuing Modularity," IDEI Working Papers 270, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Roberts, Kevin & Weitzman, Martin L, 1981. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development, and Exploration Projects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-88, September.
  7. Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Marnay, Chris & Wiser, Ryan H., 2007. "Real options valuation of US federal renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 265-279, January.
  8. Geoffrey Rothwell, 2006. "A Real Options Approach to Evaluating New Nuclear Power Plants," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 87-54.
  9. Eduardo S. Schwartz, 1998. "Valuing Long-Term Commodity Assets," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 27(1), Spring.
  10. Malchow-Moller, Nikolaj & Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark, 2005. "Repeated real options: optimal investment behaviour and a good rule of thumb," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1025-1041, June.
  11. Dixit, Avinash, 1993. "Choosing among alternative discrete investment projects under uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 265-268.
  12. Goetz, Renan-Ulrich & Hritonenko, Natali & Yatsenko, Yuri, 2008. "The optimal economic lifetime of vintage capital in the presence of operating costs, technological progress, and learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 3032-3053, September.
  13. G. Rothwell, 2007. "Managing Advanced Technology System Deployment: An Optimal Allocation Between R&D And Prototype Funding," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 419-432.
  14. Schwartz, Eduardo, 1998. "Valuing long-term commodity assets," Journal of Energy Finance & Development, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 85-99.
  15. Grenadier, Steven R. & Weiss, Allen M., 1997. "Investment in technological innovations: An option pricing approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 397-416, June.
  16. Kobos, Peter H. & Erickson, Jon D. & Drennen, Thomas E., 2006. "Technological learning and renewable energy costs: implications for US renewable energy policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(13), pages 1645-1658, September.
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