A portfolio risk analysis on electricity supply planning

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Conventional electricity planning selects from a range of alternative technologies based on the least-cost method without assessing cost-related risks. The current approach to determining energy generation portfolios creates a preference for fossil fuel. Consequently, this preference results in increased exposure to recent fluctuations in fossil fuel prices, particularly for countries heavily depend on imported energy. This paper applies portfolio theory in conventional electricity planning with Taiwan as a case study. The model objective is to minimize the "risk-weighted present value of total generation cost". Both the present value of generating cost and risk (variance of the generating cost) are considered. Risk of generating cost is introduced for volatile fuel prices and uncertainty of technological change and capital cost reduction. The impact of risk levels on the portfolio of power generation technologies is also examined to provide some valuable policy suggestions. Study results indicate that replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy helps reduce generating cost risk. However, due to limited renewable development potential in Taiwan, there is an upper bound of 15% on the maximum share of renewable energy in the generating portfolio. In the meantime, reevaluating the current nuclear energy policy for reduced exposure to fossil fuel price fluctuations is worthwhile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-641
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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