Impacts on the UK energy industry

What is the risk?

A changing climate could effect the generation and transportation of energy, not to mention the way we use it. Key UK energy companies needed guidance on how they can prepare for the threats and opportunities ahead.

What have we done?

Using our climate models to assess future temperature increases, we looked at how this could effect all aspects of the energy industry. This included factoring in issues such as the affect of heat on the efficiency of thermal power stations. We also studied the potential changes in demand as our seasons are altered under climate change - such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning.

What's the conclusion?

The majority of the energy infrastructure is already fit to meet the challenges of a changing climate. However, within the next ten years temperature rises are expected to affect energy demand in the summer. There will also be a need to adapt technology to the future climate, especially when redesigning or building new power plants.

Following our report, the then Energy and Climate Change Minister, Mike O'Brien, said: "Energy infrastructure is costly and can have a life span of 40 or more years, so it's a smart move for the energy industry to seek the expert advice of the Met Office Hadley Centre. This will help anticipate the potential impacts of climate change and allow the industry to future-proof what it builds in the coming years."

Last updated: 10 May 2012