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The Impact of Climate Change on Nuclear Power Supply


  • Kristin Linnerud
  • Torben K. Mideksa
  • Gunnar S. Eskeland


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin Linnerud & Torben K. Mideksa & Gunnar S. Eskeland, 2011. "The Impact of Climate Change on Nuclear Power Supply," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 149-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2011v32-01-a06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eisenack, Klaus, 2016. "Institutional adaptation to cooling water scarcity for thermoelectric power generation under global warming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 153-163.
    2. J. Micha Steinhäuser & Klaus Eisenack, 2015. "Spatial incidence of large-scale power plant curtailment costs," Working Papers V-379-15, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2015.
    3. Nahmmacher, Paul & Schmid, Eva & Pahle, Michael & Knopf, Brigitte, 2016. "Strategies against shocks in power systems – An analysis for the case of Europe," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 455-465.
    4. Mideksa, Torben K. & Kallbekken, Steffen, 2010. "The impact of climate change on the electricity market: A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3579-3585, July.
    5. Xiao-jun Wang & Jian-yun Zhang & Shamsuddin Shahid & En-hong Guan & Yong-xiang Wu & Juan Gao & Rui-min He, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change impacts on water demand," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 81-99, January.
    6. Hoffmann, Bastian & Häfele, Sebastian & Karl, Ute, 2013. "Analysis of performance losses of thermal power plants in Germany – A System Dynamics model approach using data from regional climate modelling," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 193-203.
    7. Grant R. McDermott & Øivind A. Nilse, 2014. "Electricity Prices, River Temperatures, and Cooling Water Scarcity," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(1), pages 131-148.
    8. Dirk Rübbelke & Stefan Vögele, 2013. "Short-term distributional consequences of climate change impacts on the power sector: who gains and who loses?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 191-206, January.
    9. Pechan, Anna & Eisenack, Klaus, 2014. "The impact of heat waves on electricity spot markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 63-71.
    10. Adom, Philip Kofi, 2016. "Electricity Supply and System losses in Ghana. What is the red line? Have we crossed over?," MPRA Paper 74559, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Nov 2016.
    11. Rolf Golombek & Sverre Kittelsen & Ingjerd Haddeland, 2012. "Climate change: impacts on electricity markets in Western Europe," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 357-370, July.
    12. Koch, Hagen & Vögele, Stefan, 2013. "Hydro-climatic conditions and thermoelectric electricity generation – Part I: Development of models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 42-51.
    13. Khan, Iftekhar & Alam, Firoz & Alam, Quamrul, 2013. "The global climate change and its effect on power generation in Bangladesh," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1460-1470.
    14. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Rive, Nathan A. & Mideksa, Torben K., 2012. "Europe’s climate goals and the electricity sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 200-211.
    15. Bogmans, Christian W.J. & Dijkema, Gerard P.J. & van Vliet, Michelle T.H., 2017. "Adaptation of thermal power plants: The (ir)relevance of climate (change) information," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-18.
    16. Maryse Labriet & Santosh Joshi & Marc Vielle & Philip Holden & Neil Edwards & Amit Kanudia & Richard Loulou & Frédéric Babonneau, 2015. "Worldwide impacts of climate change on energy for heating and cooling," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 1111-1136, October.
    17. Eyer, Jonathan & Wichman, Casey J., 2018. "Does water scarcity shift the electricity generation mix toward fossil fuels? Empirical evidence from the United States," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 224-241.
    18. Solveig Glomsrød & Taoyuan Wei & Torben Mideksa & Bjørn Samset, 2015. "Energy market impacts of nuclear power phase-out policies," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(8), pages 1511-1527, December.
    19. Xiao-jun Wang & Jian-yun Zhang & Shamsuddin Shahid & En-hong Guan & Yong-xiang Wu & Juan Gao & Rui-min He, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change impacts on water demand," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 81-99, January.
    20. H. Koch & S. Vögele & M. Kaltofen & M. Grossmann & U. Grünewald, 2014. "Security of Water Supply and Electricity Production: Aspects of Integrated Management," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(6), pages 1767-1780, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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