Climate change will raise electricity prices

Changes in water availability and water temperature under climate change are likely to lead to higher electricity prices for most of Europe, according to a new study by IIASA's Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS).

Electricity © emirsimsek | iStock

Electricity

Changes in water availability and water temperature under climate change are likely to lead to higher electricity prices for most of Europe, according to a new study [1] by IIASA's Water Futures and Solutions Initiative in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Hydroelectric power plants rely on steady river flows, while thermoelectric (nuclear and fossil-fueled) power plants need water for cooling. Projections show that for most of Europe, river flows are expected to decrease and water temperatures to rise, putting pressure on both types of power plants. The largest cost increases are projected for Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Romania, where the study projects that wholesale prices could rise as much as up to 32% by 2031-2060.

References

[1] van Vliet MTH, Vögele S, Rübbelke D (2013). Water constraints on European power supply under climate change: impacts on electricity prices. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 035010.



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Last edited: 22 May 2014

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