King County Sector Breakout Fact Sheets

J.E. Kay, J.H. Casola, A.K. Snover
2005
Planning case study -Climate change stream flow scenarios: The CIG and the NWPCC evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on hydropower and in-stream flow management by developing climate change stream flow scenarios and incorporating them into existing NWPCC planning models. To facilitate the use of this research in PNW basin planning studies, climate change stream flow scenarios are available for locations on the Columbia River at no cost through the CIG website:
more » ... ngton.edu /cig/fpt/ccstreamflowtool/sft.shtml. Vulnerability case study -West Coast electricity markets: While many non-climatic factors contributed to the 2001 West Coast energy crisis, low 2000-2001 PNW snowpack and the resulting PNW energy shortage exposed the vulnerability of electricity markets to poor climate conditions. PNW power deficits contributed to high and volatile prices on the wholesale market, 25-50% increases in PNW retail prices, marked decreases in PNW energy available for export to California, and the threat of blackouts. Climate change is projected to alter streamflows and if not accounted for, could expose new vulnerabilities in West Coast electricity markets. Summary of projected climate change impacts on hydropower operations Adjust reservoir operations for a changing climate. Project changes in electricity demand and basin-specific flows and adjust hydropower generation rule curves accordingly. Conserve electricity to reduce overall demand. By 2025, the NWPCC estimates 2,800 avg. MW of cost-effective conservation potential for the PNW. Use market forces to reduce electricity demand during critical periods. For example: use demand response incentives; connect consumer usage to electricity availability through wholesale prices; increase cooperation and coordination between different market players during shortages. Increase capacity, diversity, and interconnectivity of hydropower generation. For example: encourage innovations to improve efficiency of hydropower operations; negotiate streamflow timing with upstream users; promote interconnectivity of hydropower transmission lines; build more dams. Shift electricity production toward renewables, nuclear or thermal generation. Renewables (wind, solar) and nuclear do not contribute additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but make up a small percentage of current electricity generation. Thermal generation (i.e., burning natural gas or coal) and nuclear power may be viable alternatives although the costs and benefits of such choices must be weighed carefully. Costs include additional greenhouse gases emissions (thermal) and longterm hazardous waste disposal (nuclear). Sources: 1) Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC) 5th report: http://www.nwcouncil.org/energy /powerplan/plan/Default.htm 2) Snover, A., Miles, E. and B. Henry, OSTP/USGCRP Regional Projected year-round temperature increases would increase electricity demand in the summer and decrease electricity demand in the winter. Changes in the annual pattern of electricity production. Projected higher winter, earlier peak-and lower summer streamflows would increase electricity production during the winter/spring but decrease production in the summer. As a result, it may be more difficult to satisfy competing summer in-stream flows demands for hydropower, fish, irrigation and recreation. Projected change in 2040s hydropower demand and supply Guiding principles for planning: 1. Recognize that the past may no longer be a reliable guide to the future. 2. Integrate climate change projections into all planning processes. 3. Monitor regional climate and resources for ongoing change. 4. Expect surprises. Design policies and management practices to be flexible to changing conditions. Projections for the next century suggest climate change will have important impacts on Washington State's economy and natural resources. In order to both control the costs and maximize the benefits of a changing climate, we must begin preparing now. To stimulate discussion in this session, we summarize projected climate impacts from the conference white paper, enumerate previously suggested adaptation strategies, and provide case studies to illustrate planning techniques, vulnerabilities, and/or opportunities. Changes in the annual patterns of streamflow. Projected changes in the timing and volume of streamflow are elevation dependent. For transient and snow-melt dominated basins, projected climate change would increase winter streamflow and shift peak streamflows to earlier in the spring. This could result in more incidences of low streamflow in the summer and make it more difficult to fulfill summer demands for consumptive water use and in-stream flows. Planning case study -Seattle Public Utilities Climate Change Study: Seattle Public Utilities and the University of Washington's Dept. of Civil Engineering explored the potential impacts of climate change on Seattle's Seattle's Cedar and Tolt River water supplies. 3 Assuming the amount of water demanded by the system remains constant at present levels, their results indicate the watersheds' combined reservoir inflow from June -September would fall at an average rate of 6% per decade through 2040. 3 Wiley, M.W. (2004). "Analysis Techniques to Incorporate Climate Change Information into Seattle's Long Range Water Supply Planning," Master's thesis, University of Washington. 214 pp. Guiding principles for planning: 1. Recognize that the past may no longer be a reliable guide to the future. 2. Integrate climate change projections into all planning processes. 3. Monitor regional climate and resources for ongoing change. 4. Expect surprises. Design policies and management practices to be flexible to changing conditions. Adjust reservoir operations for a changing climate. Understand basinspecific vulnerability to climate change and manage accordingly. Encourage conservation. For example: provide incentives for purchase and use of high efficiency plumbing, appliances and irrigation systems; support outreach programs and advertising to promote conservation.
doi:10.6069/rhvnsr76 fatcat:skrjc7owjndmpichx32x3rlfcu