Lessons learnt from the evaluation of the feed-in tariff scheme for offshore wind farms in Greece using a Monte Carlo approach
Offshore wind energy development is considered essential to meet European targets for CO2 emissions reduction. However, offshore wind farms face not only typical risks associated with emerging technologies, but much higher uncertainties arising from various technical, political, economic and regulatory risks, most of which have been aggravated during the recent economic crisis. This is especially true in Greece where despite the investors’ interest there is no progress in the realisation of offshore wind farms. The scope of this paper is to investigate the profitability range of offshore wind energy investments in Greece, taking into consideration the uncertainties faced. To this purpose, a systematic profitability analysis is performed in twelve offshore wind projects, using a Monte Carlo simulation integrated into a classical financial model for the treatment of various sources of uncertainty and in relation to the eventual variation of feed-in tariffs, as foreseen in the current legislative framework. The proposed methodological approach has proved to be a very useful tool for policy makers, enabling the simultaneous consideration of a significant number of uncertainty drivers. Moreover, the obtained results demonstrate the difficulties to propose a common feed-in tariff level for all offshore wind farms even in a small country like Greece.