Hydroclimatic change challenges the EU planned transition to a carbon neutral electricity system
Hydrological variability and climate change impacts on water for power: can they undermine EU energy transition targets?
The results of a collaboration between the eiLab and E3MLab are now avaiable on Environmental Research Letters.
We examine changes in generation from water-dependent thermal and hydropower plants in the Iberian Peninsula and the Danube river basin by constraining the EU energy system model PRIMES to water availability and temperature obtained from power plant specific hydrological models.
In our projections, hydropower generation is generally reduced and mostly balanced by natural gas. As a consequence, carbon intensity, costs, and water consumption are higher than in the reference scenario adopted for planning future generation capacity.
Due to the potential severity of impacts, power capacity planning decisions and adaptation options should be evaluated in light of the integrated climate-water-energy system to guarantee reliable and sustainable energy, and robustly achieve emission reduction targets.
Carlino, A., A. De Vita, M. Giuliani, P. Zamberletti, P. Capros., F. Recanati, M. Kannavou, A. Castelletti (2021), Hydroclimatic change challenges the EU planned transition to a carbon neutral electricity system, Environmental Research Letters