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Working Paper | Pricing Climate Risks of Energy Investments: A Comparative Case Study

Soh Young In
Berk Manav
Clothilde M.A. Venereau
Luis Enrique Cruz R.
John P. Weyant
Sustainable Finance Initiative
2021

In, et al. (2020) (1) propose a framework that assesses material financial impacts from climate change and a transition to a low-carbon economy on energy infrastructure investments. This study demonstrates the application of the framework using three downstream energy assets: natural gas, coal, and solar photovoltaic power plants. We identify physical and transition risks that an asset is highly exposed to with its asset type, geographic location, time frame, and financing structure, and build highly-likely climate risk scenarios. We then project an energy asset’s cash flow under multiple scenarios and investigate whether and how these scenarios would affect the asset’s debt and equity investments. While extant climate risk assessments are mostly at sovereign, industry, or portfolio levels, this study focuses on infrastructure assets. Instead of estimating net present value (NPV), we estimate an energy asset’s probability of default due to climate risks and the size and time of the losses by the given default using debt service coverage ratio (DSCR). Lastly, this comparative case study also shows how the values of investment would vary across energy assets.