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Impacts of recent drought and warm years on water resources and electricity supply worldwide

Impacts of recent drought and warm years on water resources and electricity supply worldwide
Impacts of recent drought and warm years on water resources and electricity supply worldwide
Recent droughts and heatwaves showed the vulnerability of the electricity sector to surface water constraints with reduced potentials for thermoelectric power and hydropower generation in different regions. Here we use a global hydrological-electricity modelling framework to quantify the impacts of recent drought and warm years on hydropower and thermoelectric power usable capacity worldwide. Our coupled modelling framework consists of a hydrological model, stream temperature model, hydropower and thermoelectric power models, and was applied with data of a large selection of hydropower and thermoelectric power plants worldwide. Our results show that hydropower utilisation rates were on average reduced by 5.2% and thermoelectric power by 3.8% during the drought years compared to the long-term average for 1981–2010. Statistically significant (p < 0.01) impacts on both hydropower and thermoelectric power usable capacity were found during major drought years, e.g. 2003 in Europe (?6.6% in hydropower and ?4.7% in thermoelectric power) and 2007 in Eastern North America (?6.1% in hydropower and ?9.0% in thermoelectric power). Our hydrological-electricity modelling framework has potential for studying the linkages between water and electricity supply under climate variability and change, contributing to the quantification of the 'water-energy nexus'.
1748-9326
1-10
Van Vliet, Michelle
059112c4-55f4-4d7e-a7ef-8d7fb0c52839
Sheffield, Justin
dd66575b-a4dc-4190-ad95-df2d6aaaaa6b
Wiberg, David
ae3d980a-06a3-4dcd-98c3-f74b5af4a05d
Wood, Eric
5a765023-00e5-42b7-b851-e9edf2ce51c5
Van Vliet, Michelle
059112c4-55f4-4d7e-a7ef-8d7fb0c52839
Sheffield, Justin
dd66575b-a4dc-4190-ad95-df2d6aaaaa6b
Wiberg, David
ae3d980a-06a3-4dcd-98c3-f74b5af4a05d
Wood, Eric
5a765023-00e5-42b7-b851-e9edf2ce51c5

Van Vliet, Michelle, Sheffield, Justin, Wiberg, David and Wood, Eric (2016) Impacts of recent drought and warm years on water resources and electricity supply worldwide. Environmental Research Letters, 11 (12), 1-10. (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/124021).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recent droughts and heatwaves showed the vulnerability of the electricity sector to surface water constraints with reduced potentials for thermoelectric power and hydropower generation in different regions. Here we use a global hydrological-electricity modelling framework to quantify the impacts of recent drought and warm years on hydropower and thermoelectric power usable capacity worldwide. Our coupled modelling framework consists of a hydrological model, stream temperature model, hydropower and thermoelectric power models, and was applied with data of a large selection of hydropower and thermoelectric power plants worldwide. Our results show that hydropower utilisation rates were on average reduced by 5.2% and thermoelectric power by 3.8% during the drought years compared to the long-term average for 1981–2010. Statistically significant (p < 0.01) impacts on both hydropower and thermoelectric power usable capacity were found during major drought years, e.g. 2003 in Europe (?6.6% in hydropower and ?4.7% in thermoelectric power) and 2007 in Eastern North America (?6.1% in hydropower and ?9.0% in thermoelectric power). Our hydrological-electricity modelling framework has potential for studying the linkages between water and electricity supply under climate variability and change, contributing to the quantification of the 'water-energy nexus'.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 November 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 December 2016
Published date: 12 December 2016
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 405281
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/405281
ISSN: 1748-9326
PURE UUID: 41254f84-9f37-4f21-b641-ff893be20687
ORCID for Justin Sheffield: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2400-0630

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Feb 2017 11:53
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 02:08

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