Climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the electrical energy sector in Cyprus
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- Giannakopoulos, C., Psiloglou, B., Lemesios, G. et al. Reg Environ Change (2016) 16: 1891. doi:10.1007/s10113-015-0885-z
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of the electrical energy sector in Cyprus. Spatial vulnerability of the island was assessed using the degree-day indicator to investigate heating and cooling demands in the near future using daily temperature projections from regional climate models (RCMs). Using daily electrical energy consumption data for the present climate, an impact model linking consumption and temperature was constructed and this relationship was projected to the future climate using the data from the RCMs and assuming the same technology use. Our impact model results showed that for the period between November and April (‘cold period’), a decreasing trend in electrical energy consumption is evident due to warmer conditions in the near future, while for the period between May and October (‘warm period’), an increasing trend in electricity consumption is evident as warmer conditions dominate by 2050. Regarding the spatial vulnerability assessment, the cooling degree-day indicator testified that major increases in cooling demand, between 100 and 200 degree-days, are expected in inland and southern regions during the summer in the near future. In addition, increases of about 20–50 degree-days are anticipated during autumn. Conversely, energy demand for heating is projected to decrease during spring and winter, especially in the higher elevation parts of the island. More precisely, reductions of about 30–75 degree-days are projected during spring, while greater reductions of about 60–90 degree-days are expected during winter in heating demand, especially for in the near future. The ability of the energy sector to adapt and follow these changes was deemed to be satisfactory reducing the overall vulnerability of the sector to future climate change.