New low-carbon energy technologies, increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and a changing climate are just some of the uncertainties faced by the energy sector. In fact, it will require US$50 trillion of investment by 2035 to meet growing demands and carbon emissions targets. Yet we know little about the performance, resilience, or robustness of our energy systems to natural hazards such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves.
Using a downscaled climate model and hydrological data, the impacts and risks of climate change can be modeled on both current and future configurations of our energy system infrastructure. Simulation and statistical methods are used to determine the risk from both short-term events (e.g., a heatwave) and long term changes that may, for example, marginally impact efficiency.
This type of assessment, at global and macro-region scales, can help identify hot spots of risk where, for example, there may be high numbers of important assets or areas that are highly exposed to multiple types of climate hazard. The results can also be used in energy planning models to explicitly take into account the spatial distribution of climate risks so that the appropriate costs of mitigation and adaptation can be understood.
Funding: IIASA Postdoctoral Program
Program: Energy, Transitions to New Technologies & Water Programs
Dates: March 2016 – March 2018
Last edited: 19 January 2017
Postdoctoral research at IIASA
Qin Y, Höglund Isaksson L, Byers E, Feng K, Wagner F, Peng W, & Mauzerall DL (2018). Air Quality-Carbon-Water Synergies and Trade-offs in China’s Natural Gas Industry. Nature Sustainability 1 (9): 505-511. DOI:10.1038/s41893-018-0136-7.
Hunt J, Byers E, Riahi K, & Langan S (2018). Comparison between seasonal pumped-storage and conventional reservoir dams from the water, energy and land nexus perspective. Energy Conversion and Management 166: 385-401. DOI:10.1016/j.enconman.2018.04.044.
Parkinson S, Krey V, Huppmann D, Kahil T, McCollum D, Fricko O, Byers E, Gidden M, et al. (2018). Balancing clean water-climate change mitigation tradeoffs. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-18-005
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