NOAA joins EPRI initiative on studying Climate Risks in the Energy Sector

Aug. 10, 2022
Currently, human activities release more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide and nearly three times the concentration of methane, according to the data from NOAA. limate READi public framework stakesholders also include Ameren, Exelon and National Grid

The Electric Power Research Institute and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are entering into a three-year focus on developing a scientifically based approach to climate risk assessment in the energy sector.

With extreme weather getting more extreme (see wildfires in California, drought in western U.S., floods in Kentucky and much more), the three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) between EPRI and NOAA builds on finding a consistent approach to understanding risk in weather intensity as it relates to energy output. The two organization agreed to share publicly available knowledge, data, research and new ideas related to physical climate risk assessment.

Many experts believe the changing climate is directly related to the rising carbon and other air pollutant emissions from industrialization and power generation activities. Earlier this year, EPRI launched an initiative to gather industry leaders and stakeholders to address how to best meet resiliency and sustainability goals.

NOAA is one of the first governmental entities to join the effort.

"Proactively strengthening grid resilience against potential climate and weather impacts is going to take unprecedented collaboration among a diverse set of stakeholders," said EPRI President and CEO Arshad Mansoor, Ph.D. "NOAA is world-renowned for its weather and climate monitoring and modeling. EPRI and NOAA complement one another's skillsets and together can bring to the table further credibility and science as we collectively tackle this pressing challenge."

The global mean temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, a factor which many believe has helped intensify extreme weather events. Currently, human activities release more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide and nearly three times the concentration of methane, according to the data from NOAA.

"NOAA's trusted climate data and tools help empower individuals, communities, and businesses to understand the risks from climate and extreme weather events and make informed decisions," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. "This transformational partnership with EPRI allows NOAA to provide climate data to a critical industry and helps the agency understand the energy sector to better anticipate future information delivery needs---laying the foundation for a Climate-Ready Nation."

So far, EPRI has brought in 22 stakeholders, including NOAA, to its Climate READi public framework. Founding members of the collaboration included energy companies such as Ameren, Alliant, American Electric Power, Exelon, National Grid, New York Power Authority, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern Co. and WEC Energy Group.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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