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Combined Heat and Power in Commercial Buildings: Investment and Risk Analysis

Karl Magnus Maribu and Stein-Erik Fleten

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No2-7
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Combined heat and power (CHP) systems can generate electricity locally while they recover heat to satisfy heating loads in buildings, which means they provide efficient energy. On-site generators may reduce both the expected energy costs and cost risk exposure for developers. With volatile energy prices, a deterministic modeling framework will not yield a fair value of CHP systems because flexibility in the operational response to price changes is not taken into account. In this paper, we present a Monte Carlo simulation model that is used to find the CHP value under uncertain future wholesale electricity and natural gas prices. When considering investing in a CHP system on should consider both return and risk. Clearly, both investment return and risk depend on local energy tariffs and energy loads. We highlight an example where CHP is marginally profitable and the investment decision is not straightforward. Interestingly, CHP systems were found particularly attractive with volatile electricity prices because their ability to respond to high prices provides efficient hedges to energy cost risk. Therefore, developers should not be discouraged but rather embrace on-site generation in markets with volatile prices. From the analysis, it can also be concluded that sizing of CHP systems can be related to the energy tariff structure and cost risk preferences as well as to energy loads.

Voluntary Programs to Encourage Diffusion: The Case of the Combined Heat-and-Power Partnership

Andreas Ferrara and Ian Lange

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.1.9
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In the last decade, voluntary environmental programs have increased considerably in number and scope. A novel use of these programs is to diffuse new technology in industry as means to improving their environmental outcomes. This paper tests whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Combined Heat-and-Power (CHP) Partnership has encouraged the diffusion of CHP systems. Using a nearest neighbor matching estimator with electricity plant data and conditional logit estimation for electricity and manufacturing plants in the U.S., we find evidence that the program has helped CHP systems spread, controlling for the selection of firms into the partnership. On average partner firms have a 3% higher probability of installing CHP.

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