Assessing climate impacts on the energy sector with TIAM-WORLD: focus on heating and cooling and hydropower potential

Labriet, Maryse; Biberacher, Marcus; Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Kanudia, Amit and Loulou, Richard (2015). Assessing climate impacts on the energy sector with TIAM-WORLD: focus on heating and cooling and hydropower potential. In: Giannakidis, George; Labriet, Maryse; O Gallachoir, Brian and Tosato, GianCarlo eds. Informing Energy and Climate Policies Using Energy Systems Models: Insights from Scenario Analysis Increasing the Evidence Base. Lecture Notes in Energy (30). Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 389–409.



Much research is still needed to understand the climate vulnerability of the energy sector and to identify cost-effective adaptation options. This chapter explores the coupling of the World TIMES Integrated Assessment Model (TIAM-WORLD) with an emulated version of the climate model PLASIM-ENTS to as- sess the impacts of future temperature and precipitation changes on the heating and cooling subsector and available hydropower. An absence of climate feedback induced by the adaptation of the energy system to future heating and cooling needs was found for a 1.6-5.7 K range of long-term global mean temperature increase: when aggregated at the global level, some changes compensate others, and heating and cooling represent a relatively small contributor to total energy consumption. However, significant changes are observed at the regional level in terms of additional power capacity, mostly coal power plants, to satisfy the additional cooling needs. Reduced needs for heating affect gas and coal heating systems more than biomass and electric heaters, reflecting higher costs of these heating options in the longer term. Available hydropower is estimated to increase on a seasonal basis in most regions under future climate change. It could therefore con- tribute to supply the additional electricity needed for cooling in regions where both future cooling needs and hydropower potential are expected to increase. Hydropower results are however characterized by high uncertainty due to uncertain- ties in projected precipitation changes as well as the relatively coarse resolution of PLASIM-ENTS.

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