Toolbox Entry: Extreme Weather and Climate Vulnerabilities of the Electric Grid: A Summary of Environmental Sensitivity Quantification Methods

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Last edited on 27/11/2022 by Hector Alfaro
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General Information

ID Number
Main Author
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Publication Year
Type of Entry
Study Report

Distribution Planning
  • Disaster management and resilience

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Distribution planning


Climate hazards and extreme weather affect all components of the electric grid system, from generation to end use. Increasing temperatures, decreasing water availability, more intense storm events, and sea level rise affect the ability of the electric grid to produce and transmit electricity from fossil, nuclear, and existing and emerging renewable energy sources. Most electricity infrastructure is built for past or current climate conditions. Due to long lifetimes, electricity systems are likely to be exposed more frequently to more extreme climate conditions than those for which they were designed, and may not operate as intended under changing climate conditions. Utilities, regulators, state energy offices, and other electricity system planners are beginning to conduct environmental risk assessments, develop climate resilience plans, and incorporate changing climate conditions into long-term planning processes. Here, we highlight the analytical resources available for sensitivity assessment of electrical grid components under extreme weather and climate, and identify gaps in the literature on quantitative methods available for assessment of component vulnerability.