Climatic Change

, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 475–489 | Cite as

Robust response to hydro-climatic change in electricity generation planning

  • Simon C. ParkinsonEmail author
  • Ned Djilali


An electricity generation planning framework incorporating adaptation to hydro-climatic change is presented. The planning framework internalizes risks and opportunities associated with alternative hydro-climate scenarios to identify a long-term system configuration robust to uncertainty. The implications of a robust response to hydro-climatic change are demonstrated for the electricity system in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Adaptation strategy is crucial in this region, mainly due to the large contribution of hydropower resources to regional electricity supply. Analysis of results from basin-scale hydrologic models driven with downscaled global climate data suggest that shifts in regional streamflow characteristics by the year 2050 are likely to increase BC’s annual hydropower potential by more than 10 %. These effects combined with an estimated decrease in electricity demand by 2 % due to warmer temperatures, could provide an additional 11 TWh of annual energy. Uncertainties in these projected climate impacts indicate technology configurations offering significant long-term operational flexibility will be needed to ensure system reliability. Results from the regional long-term electricity generation model incorporating adaptive capacity show the significant shifts required in the non-hydro capacity mix to ensure system robustness cause an increase in cumulative operating costs of between 1 and 7 %. Analysis of technology configurations involving high-penetrations of wind generation highlights interactions between flexibility requirements occurring over multiple temporal scales.


Climate Change Impact British Columbia Electricity System Electricity Demand Robust Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding from Canada’s National Science & Engineering Research Council is gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS).

Supplementary material

10584_2015_1359_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (559 kb)
(PDF 560 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria

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