Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type



Environmental Science

Thesis Advisor

Michael Kelleher


Net present value, Energy economics


A sensitivity analysis was performed to determine how variation of oil and gas prices affects the Net Present Value of sustainable energy technologies. The economic analysis was developed to determine if variations in fuel prices would alter a recommendation in a prior study of sustainable energy technology. Twenty five years of data was analyzed to determine the mean and to develop a sensitivity range of current fuel prices plus/minus one and two standard deviations. This created a range of five fuel prices in which the economic analysis, specifically Net Present Value, was performed. The results showed that most of the sustainable energy technologies that were recommended had Net Present Value responses proportionate to the change in fuel prices. In some cases, specifically a geothermal heat pump that was suggested in the prior study, this increase in fuel and gas prices increased the Net Present Value to become positive thus demonstrating that if we saw prices increase one standard deviation we would expect the geothermal to be a positive Net Present Value. This sensitivity analysis reflects how risks of errors in the forecast could be modelled to account for risks when performing an economic analysis, in turn making sustainable energy technologies more favorable to implement.