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Climate change and its effect on electricity generation topic for UT Science Forum Friday, April 22

Electricity TowersDr. Melissa R. Allen, Post-Doctoral Researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “Can We Predict If and How Climate Change Will Adversely Effect Electricity Generation?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, April 22.

Climate change will adversely affect electricity generation capacities in the United States while at the same time increasing seasonal demands for electricity for cooling.  Experimental studies at both large and small regional scales indicate that electricity power plant derating could result in many areas in some seasons due to:

  1. Effects of air temperature increases on the capacity of gas turbines
  2. Effects of water temperature increases on the capacity of steam turbines and nuclear power plants
  3. Effects of precipitation changes on hydropower capacity and fossil plant cooling.

The ability to project climate change impacts on future electricity systems depends on both the capacity to project impacts of climate change and related extreme events at a relatively detailed geographical scale, and also on the capacity to understand sensitivities of affected systems to those impacts. We will discuss methodologies for making these projections along with several findings from their application to the evaluation of infrastructure vulnerability in both mid-western and southeastern states.

The UT Science Forum begins at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D (in the back of the cafe). Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Arena.

The 45-minute presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A. The UT Science Forum is free and open to the public.