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EPRI: Power Grid Resilience Planning Needed to Respond to Climate Risks

March 1, 2022
Maintaining and improving grid resilience will be a critical piece of an affordable, reliable and equitable clean energy transition

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest report, describing how climate change is already affecting the world's human and natural systems.

The report, "Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability," highlights how climate risks will increase with more climate change, but there are opportunities to manage those risks, according to two Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) researchers who were lead authors on the report.

"As countries decarbonize, we simultaneously need to ensure the electric grid can withstand the changing weather and climate of today and tomorrow that will redefine the risks and opportunities for electric power generation, delivery, and use," said EPRI Senior Research Economist Dr. Steven Rose. "Maintaining and improving grid resilience will be a critical piece of an affordable, reliable and equitable clean energy transition," he added.

The report finds that more frequent and intense climate-related extreme events have caused widespread adverse impacts, and these changing conditions will test the energy system's resilience. "Climate adaptation and proactive planning for future conditions requires evaluating trends in future climate projections, assessing grid vulnerabilities at the asset and system level, and managing risks through resilience investment options that account for regional differences," said Dr. Delavane Diaz, EPRI principal project manager in the Energy Systems and Climate Analysis group, who also served as a lead report author.

In a recently released analysis, EPRI researchers outlined how these extreme weather events can have significant impacts on the ability of the electric sector to meet customer demand. Among the recommendations were:

  • Ensuring load and renewable generation profiles are synchronized, use sufficient historical data, and incorporate projected climate trends;
  • Modeling correlated generating unit outages; and
  • Developing/using resource adequacy metrics that consider the outsized impact extreme weather events may have on the system.

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