Climate Change and Energy Systems

Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the Nordic and Baltic countries

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Renewable energy sources contribute 16% of the global energy consumption and most nations are working to increase the share of renewables in their total energy budget, to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel sources. Most Nordic and Baltic countries have already surpassed the target set for EU countries by 2020, to produce 20% of energy use from renewables like hydropower, solar energy, wind power, bio-energy, ocean power and geothermal energy. This publication presents results from a comprehensive research project that investigated the effects of projected future climate change on hydropower, wind power and bioenergy in the Nordic and Baltic countries, with focus on the period 2020-2050. The research group investigated historical climate, runoff and forest growth data and produced climate scenarios for the region based on global circulation models. The scenarios were used as input in models forecasting changes in glacial meltwater production, basin-wide runoff, mean wind strength, extreme storm and flooding events and energy biomass production. Although the uncertainty in modelling results translates into increased risks for decision-making within the energy sector, the projected climate change is predicted to have a largely positive impact on energy production levels in the region, and energy systems modelling projects increased export of energy to continental Europe by 2020.



The Nordic Power System in 2020. Impacts from changing climatic conditions

The objective of this study is to identify and quantify changes in generation of and demand for electricity in the Nordic region as a result of changing climatic conditions. In the analysis, we simulate the operation of a given electricity system using present and predicted cl imate data. Main focus is on the NordPool market, i.e. the single financial energy market for Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The situation in Iceland is discussed separately in Chapter 10. The results show how generation, demand, and transmission characteristics, for a fixed system configuration, respond to expected changes in temperatures and inflow to hydropower reservoirs. The present climate is represented by observed weekly inflow, temperature and wind speed for the period 1961–1990. The future climate is represented by model generated inflow and temperature for the period 2021–2050, from the models “DMI-HIRHAM-Echam5” and “met.no-HIRHAM-HadCM3” (from now on referred to as Echam and Hadam), using the emission scenario “A1B” defined by IPCC (Nakićenović and Swart, 2000). The system model represents the electricity system in 2020, and is based on forecasts of production – and transmission capacities, electricity demand, input fuel costs, and CO2-quota prices.


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