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Adaptation of thermal power plants: The (ir)relevance of climate (change) information

Christian Bogmans (), Gerard P.J. Dijkema and Michelle T.H. van Vliet

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 62, issue C, 1-18

Abstract: When does climate change information lead to adaptation? We analyze thermal power plant adaptation by means of investing in water-saving (cooling) technology to prevent a decrease in plant efficiency and load reduction. A comprehensive power plant investment model, forced with downscaled climate and hydrological projections, is then numerically solved to analyze the adaptation decisions of a selection of real power plants. We find that operators that base their decisions on current climatic conditions are likely to make identical choices and perform just as well as operators that are fully ‘informed’ about climate change. Where electricity supply is mainly generated by thermal power plants, heat waves, droughts and low river flow may impact electricity supply for decades to come.

Keywords: Thermal power plants; Climate change; Adaptation; Real options (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D8 Q40 Q51 Q53 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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