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Robust Decisions and Deep Uncertainty: An Application of Real Options to Public and Private Investment in Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

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Publication Date: September 2006

Publisher(s): Pardee Rand Graduate School

Author(s): Sergej Mahnovski

Topic: Energy (Fuels)
Manufacturing and industry (Automotive industry)

Type: Report


This dissertation assesses the prospects for private-sector investment in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies using an innovative application of real options analysis. Specifically, the dissertation considers the decision faced by natural gas utilities over whether, how, and to what extent they should invest in projects that could be of value if a hydrogen energy market develops in the future. This is a problem of investment under uncertainty when there is little prior information available and where the investment itself could affect the future development of this market. The ultimate goal of the dissertation is to identify investment strategies that are robust against alternative futures and assess the trade-offs of various policy instruments.