EEA Report on « Adaptation challenges and opportunities for the European energy system »
The European Environment Agency (EEA) just released a report on its latest “Adaptation challenges and opportunities for the European energy system” assessment. The report raises a clear warning: climate change events and extreme weather conditions are affecting the European energy system increasingly, and the system is not adapted to handle the changes to come.
The European energy system needs to take the climate change effects into consideration in addition to pursuing a clean energy transition. Air and water temperature, water availability, marine and coastal hazards… All these elements will indeed affect “the availability of primary energy sources — especially renewable energy sources — as well as the transformation, transmission, distribution and storage of energy, and energy demand.” and therefore the the system's ability to supply energy.
If it could appear that climate change will also have positive aspects (less energy needed for heating, for example), the reports underlines that the impacts will mostly be negative for both the society and the energy sector (such as less cooling water for thermal power plants and hydropower production, or greater risks for the infrastructure from extreme weather events and sea level rise).
The needed adaptations vary regarding the different European regions, which won’t necessarily be affected by the same climate change effects and at the same level. The assessment recommends to the countries to consider “the impacts of climate change in the development of national climate and energy plans and long‑term strategies under the EU Energy Union.”
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Find more information and a summary of the key findings here
Find the complete report here