Journal of Energy Markets

Optimal timing of wind farm repowering: a two-factor real options analysis

Sebastian Himpler and Reinhard Madlener


For more than twenty years now, wind power has been one of the main renewable energy sources. Whereas offshore wind utilization still has a high risk profile, the repowering of wind converters offers an interesting alternative to further increase the use of renewable energy. This paper studies the economics and optimal timing of repowering. We use a two-factor real options modeling framework that builds upon McDonald and Siegel's 1986 approach. It allows consideration of the investment costs as well as revenues, both following a continuous time, stochastic process. In the next step, a Monte Carlo simulation is done to determine the probability of success of repowering for each year. Finally, we discuss the results of increasing repowering activities and highlight the efforts necessary to achieve this. The model is applied to the case of repowering a 4 X 450 kW wind farm in Denmark to one with 3 X 2 MW. We find that until now the high uncertainty in Denmark in terms of revenues has hindered further development of repowering and lowered the probability of success significantly, while the selling price of the used turbines has had only a minor effect on the optimal timing of repowering. Therefore, wind developers should argue for a larger stake of secured parts in revenues, achievable via higher government-guaranteed incentives.

Sorry, our subscription options are not loading right now

Please try again later. Get in touch with our customer services team if this issue persists.

New to View our subscription options

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account here