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The Impact of Climate Change on Nuclear Power Supply

Abstract:
A warmer climate may result in lower thermal efficiency and reduced load--including shutdowns--in thermal power plants. Focusing on nuclear power plants, we use different European datasets and econometric strategies to identify these two supply-side effects. We find that a rise in temperature of 1rC reduces the supply of nuclear power by about 0.5% through its effect on thermal efficiency; during droughts and heat waves, the production loss may exceed 2.0% per degree Celsius because power plant cooling systems are constrained by physical laws, regulations and access to cooling water. As climate changes, one must consider measures to protect against and/or to adapt to these impacts.

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Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Markets and Prices; Electricity – Generation Technologies; Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
L13 - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
Q2 -
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Energy supply security, nuclear power, thermal efficiency, panel data, identification problem

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No1-6

References: View References


Published in Volume 32, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.