The UK is not keeping pace with the impact of climate change, with the risk of climate-related failure of the power system growing.
In a new 1,500-page report from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), it highlights eight priority risks that need immediate attention, including that to people and the economy from failure of the power system.
Renewable electricity is set to play a key role in the decarbonisation of numerous sectors in the UK, with electricity moving from providing 15-20% of our energy today to 65% by 2050. Sectors such as transportation and heat, as well as light, communications and delivery of other critical services such as water, are being transitioned to electricity to aid decarbonisation.
But as this transition takes place, people and the economy will be increasingly vulnerable to any impact extreme weather driven by climate change could have on the power system. This could include flooding, water shortages, increased temperatures and wildfire, sea level rising and potential increases in storms, swells and wave heights, all of which could impact generation and distribution.
The CCC pointed to the UK’s most recent blackout in August 2019, when a lightning strike caused a chain of events that left a million people without power and stranded train passengers for hours. This is just one small example of the impact extreme weather could have on the security of the electricity supply.
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