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Shanti Gupta Blog…

Climate Change & Energy Sector and Adaptation Potential in Energy Sector

Climate change is one of the global issue where many debates are going on. The objective of this paper is to present a global perspective and find out some solutions to address the issue of climate change. In India like country generally agriculture has been affected from  climate change particular rainfall time. Suggestions and comments are most welcomed for constructive thinking. Recently economic survey,2012 has include a new chapter of climate change.  

Climate change is an important issue which affects the world; it does not see the boundaries of country or differentiate in developed and developing countries. It is a debatable topic that who are the responsible for climate change and which country should take initiative to invest time and money to reduce pollution to ensure environment sustainability. At present developing and developed countries have used enough the energy in exploitative manner and even the developing countries are not legging behind in using energy in their daily life.
After post independence, India’s economic growth is increasing. As a result per capita income also has been increased; every per capita income increase leads people to use electronic appliances for a better life. We have forgotton our traditional knowledge to live a better knowledge, today for every work even for a cold water we are depend on energy. This extent of dependency on energy sector forced to think us about climate change and energy sector and adaptation potential in energy sector.
• To understand the climate change and its effect on energy sector.
• To understand the vulnerabilities due to climate change on production of energy.
• To understand the adaptation strategies to reduce risk and vulnerabilities.
In simple language if there is any disturbance in water, soil and forest is called climate change.
There is virtual consensus amongst the scientific community
– Rise in temperature
– Change in ocean current
– Modification in precipitation patterns and distribution
– Extreme climate events will become more intense and more frequent.
Societies will need to adapt to the consequences of a changing climate.
3.1 Climate change and energy sector
Energy services are a necessary input for development and growth. At the same time, fossil energy conversion, and end use, is recognized as a major contributor to global warming. Today 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions come from fossil fuel combustion for electricity generation, in industry, buildings, and transport—and these emissions are projected to rise. By 2050, the global population will grow to 9 billion, with growth mostly concentrated in developing countries with improved living standards. If we continue as we are today, delivering energy services and sustaining economic growth will result in a tripling of annual GHG emissions (World Bank, 2009a)
3.2 Impact of climate change on energy sector
• Climate variability
• Extreme climate events
– Cyclones
– Drought
– Flooding
Climate variability and extreme climate events restrict the energy generation; it is the one side of arena, on the other side there is requirement of more energy in case of cyclones, drought and flooding. We generate energy after exploiting natural resources which leads to climate change and climate events give us threat to use these resources to maintain our physical resources. Even now we are not able to understand how we can reduce the impact of climate change on energy sector.
Increasing temperatures are almost certain to reduce heating demands but increase cooling demands overall. Flooding and droughts will continue; it may be advisable to include contingencies for increased intensities and frequencies in risk management, even if no guarantees can be given that either or both will occur at any location. Impacts on infrastructure (including silting of reservoirs), on demand, on the production of bio fuels, and on hydro-generation should be considered. Rise on sea level, and could be accompanied by increased risk of coastal storm damage even should storms not intensify. Issues include risks to off shore infrastructure, including production platforms and wave and tidal generators. Increases in cyclonic storm intensities which leads greater destruction. According to the IPCC AR4 report in addition to flooding and off shore risks, such storms may bring increased wind speeds at times, both at sea and over land. Infrastructural issues may result; tolerances of wind generators may be tested.

3.3 Effect of climate change on energy generation
3.3.1 Hydro power generation
Due to climate change hydropower generation infrastructure (both physical and operational) got affected and some time destroyed also. Hydrological cycles are get affected which directly affect the energy generation power. Water availability and conditions of river flow changes due to climate change.
3.3.2 Thermal power generation
Climate change destroy and disturbs thermal power generation process, due to climate change storms and floods are very common and these extreme climate variability events damage the physical infrastructure which affects the availability of input materials including water and diesel fuel.
Hurricanes, Flooding sea level rise, and storms affects transmission and distribution infrastructure which affects the availability of input for energy generation. For instance floods and disaster can destroy low-lying coastal infrastructure and off shore infrastructure and it disturbs production and structural integrality for energy generation. Floods affects the generation cycle efficiency and cooling operational on fossil fuel-fired.
Nuclear power plants which also have an alternative source of power generation is also affected by climate change variations. Climate change accelerates the weather variability and frequency of extreme events. Obviously natural disaster comes sometimes but over exploitation of our natural resources causes disaster very frequent. These extreme events increase operational and maintenance cost per ton energy production. In particular context of India climate change affects the natural ecosystem which disturbs the production of charcoal. Now for every industrial and household work we are dependent on electricity and due to climate variations there is inadequate supply of electricity. Inadequate electricity is responsible for economic and social development of India. Most of the livelihood activities need electricity for operation process and even for management also there is need of electricity. For instance agriculture sector; to preserve agriculture products to use in next season, cold storage plays a significant role in agriculture itself. In India seventy percent population is depended on agriculture for their livelihood, it indicates the importance of energy sector in Indian context for livelihood itself. I am not talking about household requirements of electricity, it is secondary, first of all there is need to ensure food to all which requires electricity. In case of food, climate change leads to rise in temperature damages transmission lines and reducing transmission efficiencies leads to gap in information technology. Mostly the people who are residing in coastal areas, they get affected because of not getting the information of floods and disaster. Coastal areas population is extremely vulnerable in terms of their life and livelihood and damage in substations of transmissions are responsible and we are helpless. These all disaster needs some adaptation indeed.

3.4 Climate change and energy supply
According to world bank report 2009 on climate change and adaptation in energy sector due to climate change following problems we are going to face in energy generation.
• Hydro power – increased uncertainty, Revision of system reliability and transmission needs
• Wind power- Increase uncertainty on energy output
• Bio fules -Reduced energy generated and Increased uncertainty
• Solar power-Reduced energy generated Increased uncertainty
• Thermal power plants-Reduced energy generated Increased uncertainty
• Oil and gas- Reduced energy generated Increased uncertainty
3.4.1 Problems in energy supply
For energy use countries may feel many problems in using energy because developed countries are sufficient enough in economic development so when the demand will be high; supply will be low, surely the countries or individual who will have money will be able to use energy. Even though in India water issues is in debate that which river water will be accessed by which state. On extreme weather condition water will be main concern for cross boundary problems. Potential competition between energy and non-energy crops for land and water resources will increased vulnerability and uncertainty and as a result cost of living will be high.

4.1 Definition
According to IPCC adaptation is adjustment in natural or human systems to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
4.2 Primary objective
To interpreted as guaranteeing the supply of sustainable energy, and balancing production and consumption throughout time and space.
4.3 Strategy for adaptation
4.3.1 Technological adaptation strategy
By protective infrastructure to provide physical protection from the damages and loss of function that may be caused by climate-related extreme events.
4.3.2 Behavioral adaptation strategy
We can shift to more safe areas because Gulf coast could be more costly, if any storm or flood comes to Gulf. Shifting to other place will be one of the good strategy even it cost is high but in long term, producers are more safe.
4.3.3 Mainstreaming of climate adaptation
To understand vulnerability information is required for instance access to data, modeling and forecasting skills relevant to industry to save human resource and other functional infrastructure. Access to information enables us to make decision and planning to reduce the risk.
Energy users need to understand the background to their current demand, including any climate-driven factors, should those demands not be met or are threatened, and how all factors, not least climate change, will affect those demands.
We can go for improved sustainability of charcoal production through enforcement of regulations against illegal charcoal production activities. By developing new plants for charcoal production on degraded lands to reduce pressure for utilization of natural resources or deforestation for development of plantations is also one of the alternatives for adaptation in energy sector. Adaptation measures should be implemented in parallel with adaptation measures related to sustainable livelihoods and natural ecosystems. By using solar energy or small-scale hydropower generation is also a good alternative which decrease our dependency on charcoal. Diversification of household and community energy generation sources to reduce reliance on biomass as an energy source will be helpful in reducing pressure on natural system on some extent.
4.4 Possible action plan
• Support knowledge and exchange
• Climate impact need assessment- Quantification of impacts on energy sector
• Develop project screening tool
• Develop adaptation standard for energy sector- Engineering matters and information requirement
• Revisit planning timeframes and the use of historic data for future investments
• Assess potential climate impacts when retrofitting existing infrastructure
• Implement specific adaptation measures with cost-benefit analysis
• Identify policy instruments: They are needed to support climate impact management. Support capacity building: Increase the capacity of key stakeholders including energy sector policy makers, regulators, and operators, for climate risk management.

4.5 Lessons we learn from this assignment
Before doing this assignment we have not realized that climate change affect the energy sector also. we had belief that due to climate change only season variation is going to happen. Understanding of power generation is one thing which is quite clear. As a citizen of India what are the things which we can do, for instance we should off my laptop, fan and lights when I do not need these appliances. Like this simple thing there are many things by which can save energy. Policy makers have a great role to play for adaptation in energy sector.
4.6 Reference
Vergara, W., Ebinger, J(2009). Climate change and impacts on energy sector: key issues for energy sector adaptation. The Washington.D,C: The World Bank.


Filed under: Academic Writing, Social Development

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