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Title: Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs

Abstract

Climate change is projected to increase hydropower generation in some parts of the world and decrease it in others. Here we explore the possible consequences of these impacts for the electricity supply sector at the global scale. Regional hydropower projections are developed by forcing a coupled global hydrological and dam model with downscaled, bias-corrected climate realizations. Consequent impacts on power sector composition and associated emissions and investment costs are explored using the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM). We find that climate-driven changes in hydropower generation may shift power demands onto and away from carbon intensive technologies. This then causes significantly altered power sector CO 2 emissions in several hydro-dependent regions, although the net global impact is modest. For drying regions, we estimate a global, cumulative investment need of approximately one trillion dollars (±$500 billion) this century to make up for deteriorated hydropower generation caused by climate change. Total investments avoided are of a similar magnitude across regions projected to experience increased precipitation. Investment risks and opportunities are concentrated in hydro-dependent countries for which significant climate change is expected. Various countries throughout the Balkans, Latin America and Southern Africa are most vulnerable, whilst Norway, Canada, and Bhutan emerge as clear beneficiaries.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1413490
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-125443
Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442; PII: S0360544217319473
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 13 HYDRO ENERGY; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; climate change; hydropower; integrated assessment modeling; electricity; water-energy nexus

Citation Formats

Turner, Sean W. D., Hejazi, Mohamad, Kim, Son H., Clarke, Leon, and Edmonds, Jae. Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/J.ENERGY.2017.11.089.
Turner, Sean W. D., Hejazi, Mohamad, Kim, Son H., Clarke, Leon, & Edmonds, Jae. Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs. United States. doi:10.1016/J.ENERGY.2017.11.089.
Turner, Sean W. D., Hejazi, Mohamad, Kim, Son H., Clarke, Leon, and Edmonds, Jae. Wed . "Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs". United States. doi:10.1016/J.ENERGY.2017.11.089.
@article{osti_1413490,
title = {Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs},
author = {Turner, Sean W. D. and Hejazi, Mohamad and Kim, Son H. and Clarke, Leon and Edmonds, Jae},
abstractNote = {Climate change is projected to increase hydropower generation in some parts of the world and decrease it in others. Here we explore the possible consequences of these impacts for the electricity supply sector at the global scale. Regional hydropower projections are developed by forcing a coupled global hydrological and dam model with downscaled, bias-corrected climate realizations. Consequent impacts on power sector composition and associated emissions and investment costs are explored using the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM). We find that climate-driven changes in hydropower generation may shift power demands onto and away from carbon intensive technologies. This then causes significantly altered power sector CO2 emissions in several hydro-dependent regions, although the net global impact is modest. For drying regions, we estimate a global, cumulative investment need of approximately one trillion dollars (±$500 billion) this century to make up for deteriorated hydropower generation caused by climate change. Total investments avoided are of a similar magnitude across regions projected to experience increased precipitation. Investment risks and opportunities are concentrated in hydro-dependent countries for which significant climate change is expected. Various countries throughout the Balkans, Latin America and Southern Africa are most vulnerable, whilst Norway, Canada, and Bhutan emerge as clear beneficiaries.},
doi = {10.1016/J.ENERGY.2017.11.089},
journal = {Energy (Oxford)},
number = C,
volume = 141,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on November 15, 2018
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Cited by: 1 work
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