The Potential Impact of Climate Change on the Efficiency and Reliability of Solar, Hydro, and Wind Energy Sources

Bhatt, Uma S.; Carreras, Benjamin A.; Reynolds-Barredo, José Miguel; Newman, David E.; Colet, Pere; Gomila, Damià
Land 11, 1275 (2022)

Climate change impacts the electric power system by affecting both the load and generation.
It is paramount to understand this impact in the context of renewable energy as their market share
has increased and will continue to grow. This study investigates the impact of climate change on the
supply of renewable energy through applying novel metrics of intermittency, power production and
storage required by the renewable energy plants as a function of historical climate data variability.
Here we focus on and compare two disparate locations, Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands and
Cordova, Alaska. The main results of this analysis of wind, solar radiation and precipitation over the
1950–2020 period show that climate change impacts both the total supply available and its variability.
Importantly, this impact is found to vary significantly with location. This analysis demonstrates the
feasibility of a process to evaluate the local optimal mix of renewables, the changing needs for energy
storage as well as the ability to evaluate the impact on grid reliability regarding both penetration of
the increasing renewable resources and changes in the variability of the resource. This framework
can be used to quantify the impact on both transmission grids and microgrids and can guide possible
mitigation paths.

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