Computational Management Science

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 483–500 | Cite as

Investment in electric energy storage under uncertainty: a real options approach

  • Ida Bakke
  • Stein-Erik Fleten
  • Lars Ivar Hagfors
  • Verena Hagspiel
  • Beate Norheim
  • Sonja Wogrin
Original Paper


In this paper we develop a real options approach to evaluate the profitability of investing in a battery bank. The approach determines the optimal investment timing under conditions of uncertain future revenues and investment cost. It includes time arbitrage of the spot price and profits by providing ancillary services. Current studies of battery banks are limited, because they do not consider the uncertainty and the possibility of operating in both markets at the same time. We confirm previous research in the sense that when a battery bank participates in the spot market alone, the revenues are not sufficient to cover the initial investment cost. However, under the condition that the battery bank also can receive revenues from the balancing market, both the net present value (NPV) and the real options value are positive. The real options value is higher than the NPV, confirming the value of flexible investment timing when both revenues and investment cost are uncertain.


Real options Electric energy storage Markov regime switching Economic dispatch Least squares Monte Carlo 



Support from the Research Council of Norway through Project 228811 is gratefully acknowledged. Further, the work was partly supported by the Danish Council for Strategic Research through the project ’5s’—Future Electricity Markets (No. 12-132636/DSF).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ida Bakke
    • 1
  • Stein-Erik Fleten
    • 1
  • Lars Ivar Hagfors
    • 1
  • Verena Hagspiel
    • 1
  • Beate Norheim
    • 1
  • Sonja Wogrin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Economics and Technology ManagementNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Comillas UniversityMadridSpain

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