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Efficient Investment Portfolios for the Swiss Electricity Supply Sector

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))

  • Wenk, Christioph

    ()

    (Swiss Banking Institute, University of Zurich)

In this paper, we investigate existing and possible future power generation capacities in Switzerland from a risk-return perspective, using the Mean-Variance Portfolio Theory of Markowitz (1952). The study covers power generation technologies currently in operation, such as nuclear power, storage hydro power and run-of-river hydro power plants, and two new renewable energy technologies (photovoltaics and wind). Additionally, natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) technology, a possible extension to the current Swiss portfolio, is assessed. The technology-specific risks considered include electricity spot market price, production capacity and reliability, fuel cost, funding liabilities, and operation and maintenance outlays. These factors are implemented in a Net Present Value (NPV) model and Monte Carlo simulations are applied to assess each investment alternative. The lifetime-adjusted average return, together with the return-specific variance, forms the basis for the portfolio optimization conducted in the second stage of the analysis. The minimum variance (or maximum return) optimization is performed separately for base-load and peak-load technology portfolios. By defining different scenarios for the upper and lower bound for each technology's share, we simulate different situations, enabling us both, to explain the risk-return profile of the current technology mix, and to make predictions for future portfolios. Our NPV calculations are in line with currently observed returns and, by imposing some reasonable restrictions, the model performs sufficiently well in terms of explaining past portfolio compositions. Moreover, our predicted optimal outcome matches quite nicely with the debated options for enlarging power production in Switzerland.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 2/2008.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2008_002
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  1. Roques, Fabien A. & Newbery, David M. & Nuttall, William J., 2008. "Fuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: A Mean-Variance Portfolio theory approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1831-1849, July.
  2. Boris Krey & Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Efficient Electricity Portfolios for Switzerland and the United States," SOI - Working Papers 0602, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  3. Shimon Awerbuch, 2006. "Portfolio-Based Electricity Generation Planning: Policy Implications For Renewables And Energy Security," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 693-710, May.
  4. Bar-Lev, Dan & Katz, Steven, 1976. "A Portfolio Approach to Fossil Fuel Procurement in the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 31(3), pages 933-47, June.
  5. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  6. Roques, F.A. & Nuttall, W.J. & Newbery, D.M., 2006. "Using Probabilistic Analysis to Value Power Generation Investments Under Uncertainty," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0650, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
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