Adaptation challenges and opportunities for the European energy system (2019)

This EEA report analyses the needs for climate change adaptation and climate resilience in Europe’s energy system now and in the future. This assessment supports the clean energy transition, which involves a massive expansion of renewable energy sources, many of which are sensitive to climate factors.

According to the EEA assessment, climate change impacts and related adaptation needs vary significantly across European regions. In general, northern Europe will experience both beneficial and adverse impacts on its energy system, whereas southern European regions face overwhelmingly adverse impacts.

Selected climate change impacts on the energy system across Europe

In particular the study finds that:

  • Water availability is generally projected to increase in northern Europe and decrease in southern Europe, but with marked seasonal differences. These changes can affect cooling water availability for thermal power plants, hydropower and bioenergy potential, fuel transport on rivers, and energy demand for water provision.
  • Replacing coal‑fired power plants by solar and wind power radically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, thus contributing to mitigation as well as adaptation in water‑scarce regions.
  • Biofuels and carbon capture and storage require significant amounts of water or arable land, which may limit their expansion, in particular in water-scarce regions.
  • Warming temperatures decrease energy demand for heating, but increase energy demand for cooling. They can also affect electricity generation and transmission.
  • Climate change can affect the potential for wind and solar power, but available projections are associated with significant uncertainty.
  • Several studies indicate that, without appropriate adaptation measures, direct damages to the European energy system from extreme weather events could amount to billions of euros per year by the end of the century, with much larger indirect costs.

The evolving policy framework under the Energy Union provides unique opportunities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation in national and European energy planning. The assessment recommends considering the impacts of climate change in the development of national climate and energy plans and long‑term strategies under the EU Energy Union. Market actors in the energy sector should also consider strengthening climate resilience as an integral part of their business.

Read the report here.


International Conference on Regional Climate – CORDEX 2013

Taking place on 4-7 November 2013, Brussels: The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the European Commission (EC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are proud to hold this international conference on regional climate science HIGH LEVEL SESSION AND STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE The first day of the meeting will feature two important pre-conference events: A […]

New Observatory! Energyhub.ie, Carlow Kilkenny Regional Energy Observatory, IE

Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency aims to “lead and support Co. Kilkenny & Co. Carlow and beyond to reduce its CO2 emissions by stimulating and contributing to the implementation of best practice in the field of sustainable energy” (www.ckea.ie).

Climate change: Europe needs local and regional strategies

Source: Article by Neil Swannick, in the Guardian Professional (15 October 2013)   The European commission launched in April a strategy about adaptation to climate change, which was reviewed by the committee of the regions last week in Brussels. This European Union consultative body comprises 353 elected local and regional authority representatives from the 28 […]

Science for Environment Policy – News Alert!

The weekly News Alert forms the cornerstone of the Science for Environment Policy service.
Subscribers receive a regular news bulletin by email, free of charge, which summarises scientific studies in easy-to-read language with policy implications clearly highlighted. The studies are carefully selected for quality and European policy relevance.
Full details of the research paper that each article is based on are provided, along with contact details for the lead author of the original study, should subscribers wish to find out more.