Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Electricity Projects Must Include Adaptation Strategy in a Climate Risky World

The importance of energy for development is not a discovery and we all continue to come to a stand-still the moment our phone shuts down, or the lift in the office buildings stop. In urban areas, we are already surrounded by almost all services powered by electricity. Power blackouts and outages is yet a common phenomenon for anyone living in developing countries, in addition to 1.2 billion still deprived of electricity supply. Renewable energy adoption has grown, and continues to do so globally, but there are still challenges that are common to all forms of electricity generation models. This is to do with risks that all forms of energy systems are vulnerable to, and its importance can no longer be ignored given that there is a climate driven hazard or disaster each day whether we know it or not. 

Source: Extracted from WBCSD

The map below indicates only the natural catastrophic disasters in the year 2012 alone.  CLICK to see most recent disaster reported 24 hours a day. 

This means that building climate resilience is no more a matter of choice but one that must but a necessary step along with the risk associated to inter-dependencies of energy and water. Most electricity generation models require water, while pumping, treating and transporting water requires electricity. Potential climate change impacts for each energy resource derived from ADB gives a summary about potential impacts of climate related hazards, Impact of each hazard will vary by location and by event type itself.   

While the international and national bodies can enable a pathway for low carbon infrastructure and essential infrastructure services, energy companies need to put in place an adaptation mechanism in an increasingly hazard sensitive world. A well planned adaptive strategy is essential to prevent or reduce the catastrophic of an existing power plant, or one that you intend on building. Sustainable energy provision, as well as conventional power systems must now develop a comprehensive strategy to include risk, response and resilience approaches themselves.