FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, ELECTRICITY
It's probably much worse than we thought. But there are still studies that need to be done. This is a study of some of the earlier studies.
Climate Change Endangers Energy Sector
Bret Schulte, October 18, 2007 (U.S. News and World Report)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP)
From the reports: Multiple studies of multiple time periods with pretty much the same result: It is going to get hotter. (click to enlarge)
CCSP’s Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States indicates climate change will increase electricity requirements in the US in a variety of ways. The report was formally submitted to the President and Congress on behalf of DOE.
- The report was released October 18.
- The study was retrospective, evaluating US energy use in the past decades, and prospective, looking at patterns of likely need through 2100.
The report focused on climate change effects in the US energy sector, evaluating each energy area within the sector as well as questions of efficiency.
click to enlarge
- Heating needs will likely be reduced but cooling needs will be increased. Because some heating uses gas and oil while most cooling uses electricity, this pattern is likely to increase electricity demand.
- Electricity transmission and distribution are likely to be significantly affected but further study as to how is required.
- Reduced water supplies will have a variety of impacts. Loss of mountain snowpack will reduce the overall flow of rivers, reducing the supply of hydropower. It will also reduce water supplies available for power plant cooling.
- Sea level rise could disrupt natural gas and oil supplies and refining.
- The report suggests the development of renewable energies would mitigate warming. It also finds that changes in winds and insolation may require reconsideration of siting for such energies.
- The report cites data that carbon trading to mitigate emissions and their affect on climate change could reduce energy costs for consumers.
This chart summarizes the study's major findings. (click to enlarge)
- From the report’s Executive Summary: "Climate change is expected to have noticeable effects in the United States: a rise in average temperatures in most regions, changes in precipitation amounts and seasonal patterns in many regions, changes in the intensity and pattern of extreme weather events, and sea level rise. Some of these effects have clear implications for energy production and use…"
- From the report’s conclusions:
(1) “Climate change concerns are very likely to affect perceptions and practices related to risk management behavior in investment by energy institutions…”
(2) “Climate change concerns, especially if they are expressed through policy interventions, almost certain to affect public and private sector energy technology R & D investments and energy resource/technology choices by energy institutions, along with associated emissions…”
(3) “Climate change can be expected to affect other countries in ways that in turn affect U.S. energy conditions…”