IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - 40

Climate change is creating substantial and varied risks
for the electricity industry and for the customers who depend on
the energy that utility companies provide.
between 2005 and 2008. during Typhoon Jangmi in
2008, wind damage to transmission lines caused 17 days
of power cuts. Recent research suggests tropical cyclones
will intensify by 2-11% by 2100, which could result in gust
speeds of 100 m/s. a pilot study identified several adaptation options, including reinforcing the bases of towers on
or near landslide-risk slopes, investigating emergency coal
delivery by rail, and increasing site drainage capacities.

How Should We Prioritize?
When selecting adaptation measures, improvements must be
considered in light of the costs, benefits, and risks. The costs
and benefits are often not distributed symmetrically: utilities
may carry the costs while other stakeholders reap the benefits.
incurring heavy costs will only be justifiable if the risks and
benefits are commensurate, measurable, and accessible.
Cost per Unit of Benefit Ratio

1
0

Actions Below Ratio Line
on the Y Axis Are Defined as
Cost Effective

Loss
Averted

Measures Below Zero Line Are
Beneficial Also in Terms of
Cost Reduction

figure 2. Risk-cost-benefit curves.

What Are
the Lessons
Learned?

How Can
We Forecast
Climate
Impacts?

How
Should We
Prioritize?
How
Should We
Respond?

What Are
the Climate
Risks We
Face?

Risk-cost-benefit (RcB) analysis produces a cost-benefit
curve (see figure 2) based on
✔ quantitative estimates of risk, expressed as potential
losses
✔ the costs of adaptation measures, including capital
and operating expenses
✔ benefits, which may include potential additional revenues and losses averted as direct consequences of
an adverse event as well as potential indirect consequences such as losses experienced by consumers.
The framework used for this analysis (see figure 3)
describes the risks and vulnerabilities for the power sector
from the different responses, the mechanisms to prioritize
action and the lessons learned, more frequent extreme weather
and progressive climate change, and the measures the sector
can take to build resiliency in its operations. The aim is to be
proactive and strategic in the face of climate change, becoming
more flexible and resilient to the changing environment.
RcB analysis cannot provide definitive answers, however.
customer service, the regulatory environment, capital availability, and technical and institutional capacity are all important criteria to be considered in addition to quantitative analysis.
entergy carried out an RcB study that examined prosperity
and resilience for the whole community in its gulf of mexico
markets, as well as business continuity. The study identified
costs and benefits relating to wind damage, sea level rise, and
storm surges and covering commercial, residential, industrial,
and infrastructure assets. it included a detailed assessment of
more than 500,000 mi of electric transmission and distribution
assets and approximately 300 generation facilities. Three scenarios were considered for 2030 and 2050, representing low,
average, and extreme climate change.
The results showed that the area faces cumulative losses
over the next 20 years exceeding uS$350 billion, representing 2-3% of the region's gdP. extreme loss years may get
worse and occur more frequently. The study evaluated 50
adaptation measures to determine their applicability, their
cost, and the estimated asset loss that could be avoided. This
work identified a set of potentially attractive measures that
can address almost all of the increase in loss. Public funding
of uS$44 billion will be required over the next 20 years for
key infrastructure projects, including wetlands and levees.
Some uS$76 billion in private funding will also be required.

Recommendations
figure 3. The framework for climate change adaptation
and resilience in the power sector.
40

ieee power & energy magazine

Building resilience in the power sector extends beyond utility
assets and operations. collective, community-wide action is
september/october 2014



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover2
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover3
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