2:00pm - 2:20pm
Climate-induced Risks on Hydropower Development in the Developing World
Carnegie Mellon University, United States of America
One of the aims of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve universal electricity access, and hydropower can be a low-carbon source of electricity with high growth potential in developing countries. Climate change will affect the timing and magnitude of water resources in many regions. Therefore, the development of tools that quantify these potential impacts on hydropower generation is essential to enable hydropower to continue to be a reliable source of electricity. The effects of climate change on hydropower generation in developing countries are understudied in the literature. Extensive and data-intensive hydrological models are used to model future streamflow, but it is not feasible to apply them in data constrained regions. We developed a reduced-form risk and vulnerability framework for hydropower generation that uses remotely sensed datasets and projections to forecast generation under different GHG emissions scenarios. We assessed the vulnerability of the power plants based on future streamflow and the importance of the contribution of glacier melt versus precipitation. We included eight hydropower plants (across six basins) as a case study of Peruvian hydropower generation. These power plants have historical capacity factors ranging from 50%-80%. Through the application of the framework, we find that both 90% exceedance probability flows and 10% exceedance probability flows are increasing for all hydropower plants analyzed through the 21st century under both RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 emissions scenarios. Increased high flows could lead to more frequent flooding, increased landslide risk and compromise the structural integrity of power plants. These effects need to be analyzed on a more detailed facility-level study. On the other hand, increased low flows could support higher capacity factors compared to the baseline, particularly in the dry months. When analyzing glacier retreat, we were able to find that under all emissions scenarios and for all hydropower plants glaciers continue to retreat through the 21st century. Glacier retreat makes power plants that depend on melt particularly vulnerable during the dry months. We conclude that hydropower operations would likely continue to be sustainable by the end of the century, but special consideration is required for power plants with high glacier contribution.
2:20pm - 2:40pm
Climate change impacts on Brazil’s electricity load
1University of Michigan, United States of America; 2North Carolina State University, United States of America
Brazil’s growing middle class, electrification rates, and urbanization has led to a significant uptick in residential appliance adoption. Air conditioner usage, increasingly relevant to both average and system peak demand, will have strong environmental and economic impacts to the country as a whole. With nearly every Brazilian household connected to the centralized electricity grid, increasing temperatures, higher incomes, and vulnerability from reduced energy supply; residential cooling demand will have a large impact on Brazilian electricity grid reliability and whether or not the country will be able to meet both environmental and efficiency goals. Though Brazil’s air conditioner impacts have been referenced anecdotally, most detailed studies of cooling demand are focused on countries such as the U.S. This study increases temporal resolution to hourly grid impacts as well as improving spatial granularity to municipality-level climate and air conditioner adoption predictions. The paper is split into two parts with separate models. The first outlines a econometric model that utilizes census data (municipality urbanization, household density, household income) and downscaled global climate model results (humidity, temperature) to project each municipality’s household air conditioner adoption rate showing an increase of 44.6% between 2000 to 2010 in households with air conditioners, specifically in municipalities with hot climates and high average incomes. The second part aggregates adoption numbers up to five regional levels to match each region’s hourly grid data with three-hourly climate data to closely study how the air conditioner peak impacts grid requirements at various temporal levels. Though this paper is specific to Brazil, it highlights a potential future for other fast-developing countries in warm regions pertaining to energy demand, grid reliability, and environmental consequences.
2:40pm - 3:00pm
The Role of Natural Gas in Decarbonizing India's Power Sector
Harrisburg University, United States of America
India’s electricity demand is projected to increase from about 1300 GWh in 2016 to over 3000 GWh in 2040 . Despite recent growth in renewable capacity addition, coal is expected to account for over 50% of electricity generation by 2040. Resource availability, low commodity prices, and Coal India’s institutional role in rural communities has deeply tied India’s growth strategy with that of its coal sector. Yet, concerns over climate change and the health impacts of high air pollution have led the government to explore sustainable pathways to meet the growing energy demand.
In this work, we examine the potential role for natural gas in decarbonizing India’s electricity sector. India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, in a recent report on gas-based power, stressed the importance of using gas generation to balance high renewable penetration and lower particulate matter pollution . Although India has over 25 GW of newly built (<15 years) combined-cycle gas-based capacity, plant capacity factors are only about 24% because of a shortage in gas availability. The impact of regulated prices that prioritize the industrial and agricultural sector further risks the possibility of gas-assets being stranded. Increasing the capacity factor of these plants to the designed 66% can reduce coal-based generation by up to 10%. Given the geographical extent of gas plants near urban centers, a 10% reduction in coal power can have significant impacts on local urban air quality. In this paper, we examine the emissions implication of fully utilizing existing gas infrastructure through a combination of increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, pricing reforms, and upgrades to interstate pipeline capacity.
Harnessing the potential of existing gas-based infrastructure provides significant advantages because it requires lower capital investment and can provide immediate reductions in local air pollution. Recent increases in the price of imported coal has made LNG imports attractive. Furthermore, with over 70% of existing gas plants in coastal states, the need for new pipeline additions would also be minimal. Here, the planned addition of new LNG re-gasification facilities along the eastern coast will be critical to overcome transmission limits from the western LNG terminals. In this paper, we discuss the implications of increasing gas-based power generation on the LNG import volumes, planned re-gasification terminals, and suggest potential pathways to reduce the impact of volatile gas prices.
In addition to availability, making gas-based power generation attractive for state-owned distribution companies would also require reforms to domestic gas pricing policies. Here, we briefly discuss changes to gas allocation schemes and pricing subsidies that would make gas-based power generation an attractive complement to intermittent renewable power. Finally, we address the energy security implications of increasing reliance on imported LNG to decarbonize the power sector.
 NITI Aayog, Government of India Working Paper, “India’s energy and emissions outlook: results from the India Energy Model”. 2017.
 Standing Committee on Energy, 16th Lok Sabha. “Stressed/Non-performing assets in gas-based power plants”. 42nd Report, New Delhi, India, 2019.
3:00pm - 3:20pm
Multi-criteria Analysis for the Location of Possible CO2 Geological Injection Projects in Peru-South America
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Department of Engineering
A few years ago, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technique was proposed as a measure to prevent CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. This technique consists of four stages: (1) Capture of CO2, (2) transport, (3) geological injection of CO2 into depleted oil wells, saline aquifers and coal beds, and (4) monitoring. The injection of CO2 into mature wells for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) has been carried out for more than 40 years. Given that CO2 is the main greenhouse gas (78%), injection projects have great potential to mitigate the problems related to the greenhouse effect.
This work analyzes the possibility of carrying out injection projects as a mitigation measure for greenhouse gas emission in Peru-South America. Although Peru CO2 emissions have no impact in global rates, the possible implementation of international measures to promote the reduction of CO2 emissions to the environment could increase the feasibility of this kind of projects. A national regulatory framework based on technical studies is required to guarantee the safety of the population and projects’ sustainability.
To evaluate the geological injection potential of oil fields and saline aquifers located in the Peruvian territory, a multi-criteria methodology has been used. It has considered 24 evaluation factors in 4 dimensions: structural-geological (reservoir and seal), social, environmental and economic. The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) has been used to establish a ranking of the locations where CO2 injection projects are more feasible. The information used to evaluate the various criteria has been provided by national regulatory agencies of oil extractive industry and water resources. In addition, two participatory workshops have been conducted to validate the methodology and obtain the weights of each factor using Expert Opinion and Focus Group techniques. In order to validate the applicability of future injections projects, a survey was carried out to the population of the cities near the most ranked sites. Finally, a GIS map with the prioritized locations was developed.
This study concludes that CO2 geological injection projects could be developed in 13 prioritized blocks located in two zones: (1) Marañon - Ucayali Basin, in the Northeastern part of the country, and (2) Talara Basin, located in northwestern Peru. Results are most influenced by the reservoir capacity, the seal layer porosity, and availability of detailed information. Based on the survey and workshops, it is concluded that local actors and residents are aware of the relevance of innovative mitigation measures in the region and the need to adequate the regulatory and legal frameworks to avoid future risks for the population and biodiversity. Also, it was reported that it would be a great opportunity for regional development if injections projects were articulated with eco-systemic services provided by vegetation and with EOR projects.