The electricity supply industry is being restructured all over the world. Privatisation, with the emergence of Independent Power Projects (IPPs), especially in developing countries, and liberalisation of the power generation market are changing decision-making processes in a radical way. New challenges of deregulation and customer demands, and economic instabilities in south-east Asia, oblige electric utilities to face a double jeopardy: least-cost planning and least-risk investments.

Consumers are encouraged to save energy and emission reduction policies are implemented to promote utilisation of high efficiency, clean power production technologies.

The aim of this paper is to introduce the concept of life cycle risk management and Decision Support System (DSS) for open and combined cycle schemes, highlighting the market potential for Flexible Mid-size Gas Turbines (FMGT) in mid-merit applications.

The DSS that has been developed at Cranfield University includes: plant simulation program, providing design and off-design performance, maintenance planning, component degradation, and load-following models. In addition several economic techniques based upon engineering finance and project accounting make power plant economic appraisals possible.

The DSS also provides a Monte Carlo risk analysis in order to deal with technical and economic uncertainties in a very effective way.

Case studies will stress several parameters that planners have to carefully assess when making decision in the context of the coming millennium, bringing all sorts of new challenges and areas of uncertainty that will be discussed in the paper.

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