Electricity Supply Vulnerable to Climate Change
Will lower, warmer rivers still be able to keep power plants cool?
A new paper* in the prestigious journal Nature Climate Change assesses the vulnerability of electrical supplies in the US and Europe to climate-change. Specifically to rising water temperatures and reduced river flows needed to cool thermoelectric plants—coal, gas, and nuclear powered.
Both the US and Europe rely heavily on thermoelectricity. Currently:
- 91 percent of total electricity in the US is produced by thermoelectric plants
- 78 percent of total electricity in Europe is thermoelectric
- Together these plants represent ~86 percent of total thermoelectric water withdrawals globally
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