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How Climate-Induced Risks Affect Power System Planning in the U.S. Southeast

by Julie Vano, Aspen Global Change Institute

June 2021 Research Review

Providing reliable, affordable, and low-carbon electricity in a warming world requires careful consideration of evolving electric energy supplies and demands. At the same time, energy supplies are likely to be altered by climate change as shifts in the physical environment -- changing water availability and increasing air and water temperatures -- reduce the capacity and efficiency of thermoelectric power plant operations, among other impacts. This combination of influences makes planning for power capacity expansion challenging, especially amid ever-increasing pressures to decarbonize. A new study by Fonseca and colleagues highlights opportunities for how long-term energy planning might include a more comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts, and how adaptation and mitigation strategies can converge.

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Published Date: 
June 30, 2021