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by Claire Walsh last modified 2006-09-20 14:52

A Generic Process for Assessing Climate Change Impacts on the Electricity Supply Industry and Utilities

This project is examining climate change impacts on the electricity supply industry.

The first stage of the project has involved identifying the key climate change impacts for the electricity supply industry and to identify what work has already been done in this area. A number of models have been developed to assess changing patterns in energy use and have since been applied to the problem of assessing the impact of climate change, e.g. MARKAL. This project will build on the work that has been done using these models.

Principally, climate impact studies have concentrated on the potential increase in building cooling requirements, e.g. air-conditioning and this provides a useful starting point for the project.Work has begun on assessing the climate change impacts on wind power generation. Anecdotal evidence from stakeholders suggests that there may be evidence for declining wind speeds, though as yet this is not backed up by the scientific literature. An attempt will be made to identify possible long-term trends in wind speed from existing long-term records and future projections provided by UKCIP and the BETWIXT project. However, from the research carried out so far, the emphasis on the impact of climate change on wind power generation will concentrate on structural impacts. Wind turbines are being made ever bigger and may be being built beyond their design envelope.

The project will look at what vibration modes are likely to be excited under wind and wave loading as machine sizes increase both onshore and offshore.A conceptual framework has been developed to enable climate impact to be assessed in the context of the management of the overall performance of the ESI. This framework consists of a cyclic performance management process (PMP) model that describes how high level stakeholder performance demands can be mapped logically and consistently through to technical performance requirements at the physical system and component levels. The cyclic PMP model also encompasses monitoring and feedback in recognition of the continuously changing and uncertain nature of (i) the stakeholder demands, (ii) the climate and other actions on the system, and (iii) the behaviour of the ESI system itself. The conceptual framework is intended to establish a commonly understood context that will aid integration and mediation of diverse stakeholder interests and the integration of the many technical disciplines involved in the problem solution.

Further information about the GENESIS project can be found by following the links below:

                        GENESIS presentation

                        GENESIS summary document

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