Estimating the impacts of climate change on electricity supply infrastructure: A case study of China

Chen H., Liu S., Liu Q., Shi X., Wei W., Han R., ...More

ENERGY POLICY, vol.150, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 150
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.112119
  • Journal Name: ENERGY POLICY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, EconLit, Environment Index, Greenfile, Index Islamicus, INSPEC, PAIS International, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Understanding the impacts of climate change on electricity supply infrastructure (ESI) is important to maintain a reliable power supply. Nonetheless, most existing studies focus on the physical impacts rather than the economic impacts, failing to provide references for the cost-benefit analysis of different abatement policies and measures. With this motivation, this study firstly employs a downscaled climate system model to project temperature paths in the future. Then, an integrated model is established to quantify both physical and economic impacts of long-term future temperature rise on the existing ESI components. Finally, the maximum climate-attributable impacts on China's ESI are assessed for the period from 2018 to 2099. Our major findings are that: (1) 10.2% of the generator ratings, 17.8% of the transmission and distribution line ratings and 10.0% of the transformer ratings are at risk of outage from expected climate change effects. (2) Around $258 billion of the existing ESI assets are at risk of outage due to the future surface temperature rise, representing 14.2% of the ESI assets in 2017. (3) The impacts of climate change on ESI vary substantially among different provinces and among different infrastructure components. These obtained results can provide important guidance for the mitigation and adaption strategies for the climate change impacts on the electricity sector.