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The real options to shutdown, startup, and abandon: U.S. electricity industry evidence

Stein-Erik Fleten (), Erik Haugom and Carl J. Ullrich

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 63, issue C, 1-12

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the partially irreversible decisions to shutdown, startup, and abandon existing production assets under cash flow uncertainty and regulatory uncertainty. We use detailed information for 1121 individual electric power generators located in the U.S. for the period 2001–2009 and find strong evidence of real options effects. We find that both profitability uncertainty and regulatory uncertainty decrease the probability of shutdown. Regulatory uncertainty also decreases the probability of startup, but we find that cash flow uncertainty increases the probability of startup, especially for large generators.

Keywords: Regulatory uncertainty; Real options; Retail competition; Stranded costs; Investment decisions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 E22 G31 L51 L94 Q41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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