Preparing the energy sector for climate change

Climate change can have a severe impact on the power generation industry. The research project KLIMPEN aims to deepen the understanding of how the energy sector can be affected by climate change and also which adaptation measures can be implemented to reduce risk, says Fredrik Aronsson, Risk Engineer at If.

The KLIMPEN climate research project, which aims to understand the climate impact and opportunities for the power generation industry, started in January 2020 and is expected to be completed in March 2021.

Climate impact on future power generation

Within the project there are working groups focused on various forms of energy: hydro, nuclear and wind power, solar energy and biomass, as well as power distribution and energy use.

Government research institutes for energy and the environment are involved, including IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), alongside notable energy companies such as Vattenfall, Statkraft and Fortum. If is involved as a sponsor, as well as contributing to risk management, claims knowledge and supporting the coordination of the working groups.

The aim of the project is to prepare stakeholders for the future

Fredrik Aronsson

‘The aim of the project is to prepare stakeholders for the future. How will the changes in the climate affect the energy system? What adaptation measures may be needed? How can companies be prepared for changed production conditions?’, says Fredrik Aronsson.

Climate scenarios for each energy segment will provide vital information and data that will help both companies and municipalities prepare for the potential impacts a changing climate will have in their region, or on their operations in a given location.

The KLIMPEN project will provide valuable insights into the future of power generation in the Nordics. However, the results and outcomes of this research will be valid and applicable to any industry or location.

The project will help all industries

These exposures are universal, and therefore the learnings from this project will add value to assessing risks caused by climate change, whether this is from frazil ice, wildfires, floods or other phenomena, which can occur anywhere in the world.

‘The results and data from the project will visualise the type of risks that we are facing, and can be used to strengthen the importance of prevention, prepare for future risks, and help minimise losses caused by potential changes in the climate. The final reports will identify the risk areas and present how the experts see the impacts of a changing climate in power production in a particular region in Sweden.

After this, it is up to each energy producer, municipality or other authority to decide what they should focus on, to ensure that they are resilient enough to the coming changes, and that we can step up to meet the challenges ahead’, says Fredrik Aronsson.

Fredrik Aronsson photo.

Fredrik Aronsson

Risk Engineer, If