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Gas fired power plants: Investment timing, operating flexibility and abandonment

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  • Fleten, Stein-Erik
  • Näsäkkälä, Erkka

Abstract

We analyze investments in gas-fired power plants under 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. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fleten, Stein-Erik & Näsäkkälä, Erkka, 2003. "Gas fired power plants: Investment timing, operating flexibility and abandonment," MPRA Paper 217, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:217
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Maribu, Karl, 2009. "Investment and upgrade in distributed generation under uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-37, January.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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..
    6. 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.
    7. Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1997. " The Stochastic Behavior of Commodity Prices: Implications for Valuation and Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 923-973, July.
    8. 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).
    9. 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.
    10. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Matilda Orth & Niklas Rudholm, 2010. "Opening Local Retail Food Stores: A Real-Options Approach," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 373-387, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real options; spark spread; gas-fired power plant; forward prices;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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