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Optimal investment strategies in decentralized renewable power generation under uncertainty

  • Fleten, Stein-Erik
  • Maribu, Karl Magnus
  • Wangensteen, Ivar

This paper presents a method for evaluating investments in decentralized renewable power generation under price un certainty. The analysis is applicable for a client with an electricity load and a renewable resource that can be utilized for power generation. The investor has a deferrable opportunity to invest in one local power generating unit, with the objective to maximize the profits from the opportunity. Renewable electricity generation can serve local load when generation and load coincide in time, and surplus power can be exported to the grid. The problem is to find the price intervals and the capacity of the generator at which to invest. Results from a case with wind power generation for an office building suggests it is optimal to wait for higher prices than the net present value break-even price under price uncertainty, and that capacity choice can depend on the current market price and the price volatility. With low price volatility there can be more than one investment price interval for different units with intermediate waiting regions between them. High price volatility increases the value of the investment opportunity, and therefore makes it more attractive to postpone investment until larger units are profitable.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 218.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
Date of revision: Jun 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:218
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  1. Thomas E. Hoff, 1997. "Using Distributed Resources to Manage Risks Caused by Demand Uncertainty," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 63-84.
  2. Jean-Paul Décamps & Thomas Mariotti & Stéphane Villeneuve, 2006. "Irreversible investment in alternative projects," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 425-448, 06.
  3. Ang, B.W. & Huang, J.P. & Poh, K.L., 1999. "Break-even price of distributed generation under uncertainty," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 579-589.
  4. 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.
  5. Dixit, Avinash, 1993. "Choosing among alternative discrete investment projects under uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 265-268.
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