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Assessing uncertainty of climate change impacts on long-term hydropower generation using the CMIP5 ensemble—the case of Ecuador

Carvajal, PE; Anandarajah, G; Mulugetta, Y; (2017) Assessing uncertainty of climate change impacts on long-term hydropower generation using the CMIP5 ensemble—the case of Ecuador. Climatic Change 10.1007/s10584-017-2055-4. Green open access

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Abstract

This study presents a method to assess the sensitivity of hydropower generation to uncertain water resource availability driven by future climate change. A hydrology-electricity modelling framework was developed and applied to six rivers where 10 hydropower stations operate, which together represent over 85% of Ecuador’s installed hydropower capacity. The modelling framework was then forced with bias-corrected output from 40 individual global circulation model experiments from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 for the Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 scenario. Impacts of changing climate on hydropower resource were quantified for 2071–2100 relative to a baseline period 1971–2000. Results show a wide annual average inflow range from + 277% to − 85% when individual climate experiments are assessed. The analysis also show that hydropower generation in Ecuador is highly uncertain and sensitive to climate change since variations in inflow to hydropower stations would directly result in changes in the expected hydropower potential. Annual hydroelectric power production in Ecuador is found to vary between − 55 and + 39% of the mean historical output when considering future inflow patterns to hydroelectric reservoirs covering one standard deviation of the CMIP5 RCP4.5 climate ensemble.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing uncertainty of climate change impacts on long-term hydropower generation using the CMIP5 ensemble—the case of Ecuador
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10584-017-2055-4
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-2055-4
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570998
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