Impacts of Climate Change on European Critical Infrastructures: The Case of the Power Sector

Basque Centre for Climate Change Working Paper No. 2010-08

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2010 Last revised: 7 Jul 2010

See all articles by Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

Stefan Vögele

IEF-STE

Date Written: July 4, 2010

Abstract

Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases cause climate change and this change in turn induces various direct impacts, e.g., changes in regional weather patterns. The frequency of heat waves and droughts in Europe is likely to rise. Yet, beyond these immediate effects of climate change, there are more indirect effects: Droughts may cause water scarcity and a lack in water supply which in turn would affect further sectors and critical infrastructures. An arising lack in water supply for cooling purposes, for example, will negatively affect the electricity generation in power plants. In this paper we analyse such interplays between climate-change affected sectors. We investigate whether and to which extent power generation and supply in Europe is threatened by climate change because of the higher risk of water supply shortages due to more frequent drought and heat-wave incidences. Our proposed approach cannot only be applied to analyse the climate change effects on individual power plant sites or the overall economy but also on electricity exchanges between countries.

Keywords: Adaptation, Climate Change, Critical Infrastructures, Electricity Trading, Energy Security, Nuclear Power Plants, Vulnerability

JEL Classification: Q54, Q41, H54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Rübbelke, Dirk T. G. and Vögele, Stefan, Impacts of Climate Change on European Critical Infrastructures: The Case of the Power Sector (July 4, 2010). Basque Centre for Climate Change Working Paper No. 2010-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1634623 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1634623

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg ( email )

Freiberg, 09599
Germany

Stefan Vögele

IEF-STE ( email )

Jülich, 52425
Germany

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