Green Investment and Asset Stranding Under Transition Scenario Uncertainty
36 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2022 Last revised: 2 Aug 2023
Risks and opportunities related to environmental transition are usually evaluated through the use of scenarios, produced and maintained by international bodies such as the International Energy Agency. This approach assumes perfect knowledge of the scenario by the agent, but in reality, scenario uncertainty is an important obstacle for making optimal investment or divestment decisions. In this paper, we develop a real-options approach to evaluate assets and potential investment projects under dynamic climate transition scenario uncertainty. We use off-the-shelf Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) scenarios and assume that the economic agent acquires the information about the scenario progressively by observing a signal, such as the carbon price or the greenhouse gas emissions. The problem of valuing an investment is formulated as an American option pricing problem, where the optimal exercise time corresponds to the time of entering a potential investment project or the time of selling a potentially stranded asset. To illustrate our approach, we employ representative scenarios from the scenario database of the Network for Greening the Financial System to two energy-related examples: the divestment decision from a coal-fired power plant without Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and the potential investment into a green coal-fired power plant with CCS.
Keywords: Transition risk, scenario uncertainty, Bayesian learning, stranded asset, real options
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