Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Climate change putting electricity generation at risk

Soumya Karlamangla in AlertNet: Lost life, ecosystem damage, power cuts, job losses and increasingly expensive electricity is the price we pay if governments fail to make their power generation systems more climate-resilient. That's what scientists from the Institute for Development Studies are warning in a report which concludes that no system of generating energy -- not even renewable energy like solar or wind power -- is immune to the effects of climate change.

Tackling the disaster risk to nuclear power generation, the report says quakes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and flooding can have a devastating impact on nuclear power plants. It cites the crisis triggered at Japan's Fukushima plant when an earthquake and tsunami struck the country in March.

"Extreme weather events like storms and floods which can damage nuclear power plants — this is one of the most challenging issues in energy planning today," said Frauke Urban, lead author of the report published by the Strengthening Climate Resilience consortium. "Climate change is another risk for government and energy companies where they really need to rethink the energy planning for the future," she added.

Nuclear power accounts for about 6 percent of global energy generation. Like all power plants, nuclear facilities could face damage to its equipment from floods. Conversely, a drop in rainfall, a rise in temperature or a drought could reduce the amount of available water needed for cooling reactors, potentially posing a serious threat to public safety.

"Siting of major infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure needs to be done very carefully now," said Saleemul Huq, expert on climate change development and senior fellow in the Climate Change Group at the International Institute of Environment and Development....

The Civaux nuclear power plant in France, shot by Greudin (I think), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

1 comment:

Robin Coleman said...

We've recently updated our website with our new research team - Climate Change. See

Also, could you quote as Institute OF Development Studies not 'for'.