Research article

Risk of temperature differences in geothermal wells and generation strategies of geothermal power

  • Received: 30 September 2020 Accepted: 27 November 2020 Published: 04 December 2020
  • JEL Codes: G12, G42

  • The objective of this paper is to discuss the impacts of the uncertainties of temperature differences between production and injection wells on geothermal power generation strategies using real option valuation. Contrary to previous studies, this study focuses on volumetric risk from the wells' temperature differences which produce both the power generation revenue and the scale-driven maintenance cost. We propose a new model of the temperature difference in a geothermal power plant and evaluate two newly designed American-type real options of a geothermal power plant with uncertainties in the temperature differences by incorporating twofold power generation strategies with temperature difference boundaries. In the first strategy, if the difference exceeds an upper threshold, the power generation ceases due to the increase of the maintenance cost from scale formation; in the second, if the difference is greater than an upper threshold or is less than a lower threshold, the power generation ceases due to the increase of the maintenance cost from scale formation or due to a shortage of calories, respectively. Results show that the net present value of a geothermal project is greater than the real option value with both the maintenance cost uncertainty and power generation uncertainty due to the negative and positive impacts of the temperature on the generation, while the net present value is less than the real option value which only reflects the maintenance cost uncertainty. It implies that the appropriate inclusion of the temperature difference risk is essential to evaluating the project value of geothermal power generation.

    Citation: Keiji Sakakibara, Takashi Kanamura. Risk of temperature differences in geothermal wells and generation strategies of geothermal power[J]. Green Finance, 2020, 2(4): 424-436. doi: 10.3934/GF.2020023

    Related Papers:

  • The objective of this paper is to discuss the impacts of the uncertainties of temperature differences between production and injection wells on geothermal power generation strategies using real option valuation. Contrary to previous studies, this study focuses on volumetric risk from the wells' temperature differences which produce both the power generation revenue and the scale-driven maintenance cost. We propose a new model of the temperature difference in a geothermal power plant and evaluate two newly designed American-type real options of a geothermal power plant with uncertainties in the temperature differences by incorporating twofold power generation strategies with temperature difference boundaries. In the first strategy, if the difference exceeds an upper threshold, the power generation ceases due to the increase of the maintenance cost from scale formation; in the second, if the difference is greater than an upper threshold or is less than a lower threshold, the power generation ceases due to the increase of the maintenance cost from scale formation or due to a shortage of calories, respectively. Results show that the net present value of a geothermal project is greater than the real option value with both the maintenance cost uncertainty and power generation uncertainty due to the negative and positive impacts of the temperature on the generation, while the net present value is less than the real option value which only reflects the maintenance cost uncertainty. It implies that the appropriate inclusion of the temperature difference risk is essential to evaluating the project value of geothermal power generation.


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