POWER BLACKOUTS IN SOUTH AMERICA
Indices related to hydro-meteorological situations prone for power outages in South America
Based on the vulnerabilities of the energy sector and its nexus, related hydro-climatic indices for South America (with a focus on the Central Andes) will be calculated, which should provide the basis for a pre-alert of possible power outages. Especially in a future climate, when the expected impacts of extreme events and the water related conflicts are expected to be more severe, a solid basis for risk management will be essential for a successful adaptation to climate change (and variation) for the energy-water-food security nexus.
CASE STUDY DESCRIPTION
Issue to be addressed
Energy sector is in transition, in S-America as everywhere else in the world. Renewable energies get more and more important - as resources are limited and the continuation of the burning of coal and oil for energy production is not advisable considering the heavy CO2 emissions. This means that renewable energy-sources, like photovoltaic and wind, but mainly hydro-electricity are promoted.
However, all this forms of renewable energy and their transport to the customers are prone to adverse impacts by extreme weather and climate events. Even if water for hydro-electricity can be re-used for other purposes, e.g. retaining of water in dammed lakes may be critical, this even more so in the perspective of climate change and variation. An excellent hydro-climatic data basis is key for a successful risk management and mediation of the often conflicting goals of the actors of the water-energy-food security nexus.
Decision support to client
The stakeholders interested in energy sector and its nexus want to be informed about the future impacts of climate change and climate variation on energy production and infrastructure.
This, not only because of future risks, but also in the context of possible incentives for financing and implementing adaptation measures.
Temporal and spatial scale
The respective adaptation measures shall be realized within the next 20 to 50 years
The typical geographical scale is a catchment between some hundreds and some thousands km2.
We are going once to twice a year in the Andes region and meet with the clients. Moreover, we are offering courses about climate change, seasonal forecast and climate based index instruments in Latin America and in Europe which give us a good overview of the client’s understanding of these topics.
It’s indispensable to be in a constant interaction with the customers - but it’s at least as important to monitor ourselves the newest developments in energy technology and policy.
This is particularly true what renewable energies - like wind and solar - concerns. In this context, it’s important that client’s needs may change very fast, depending on actual problems and – mainly - incentives.
A very important point are incentives offered by the international community, as CO2 compensation, credits or donations of the international development banks, the GEF, the Green Climate Fund or the Adaptation Fund.
We will communicate our methods and results with the means of showcases.