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Investment needs for climate change adaptation measures of electricity power plants in the EU

Lise, Wietze
van der Laan, Jeroen
Climate change is expected to have impacts on the power sector, leading to, among others, a need for adaptation measures in the sector in the near future. This paper analyses the need to adapt to climate change impacts for power generation technologies in Europe until 2100. Europe is broadly divided into four geographic climate zones, for which regional climate change impacts are quantified with the help of the ENSEMBLES RT2b data. The European future technology mix is based on two Eurelectric energy scenarios: 'Baseline 2009' and 'Power Choices'. A Risk Assessment Model is formulated which assesses the cost to power plants for adapting to climate change. The analysis shows that thermal generation units most urgently need adaptation measures against floods, whereas off-shore wind power plants would need to take adaptation investments against sea level rise. Furthermore, electricity grids need to adapt to the increased incidence of storms. Finally, hydro generation in the Mediterranean regions needs to adapt to lower levels of precipitation. (C) 2015 International Energy Initiative. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.