This study explores the intersection of environmental constraints, climate change and energysecurity in Asia and the Pacific. Although environmental sustainability has only recentlyemerged as an energy policy issue , the magnitude of energy impacts on environmentalsystem suggests links to energy security. The unchecked growth in fossil energy consumptionand the ensuring acceleration of global climate change as well as related land and waterpollution act as a “threat multipliers” impinging on national security globally. Theseenvironmental dimensions are just a subset of a larger array of environmental concerns thatthreaten energy security including land pollution, forestry and biodiversity loss.IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON ENERGY SOURCES:It's the ultimate greenhouse gas irony.As humanity's use of energy has altered Earth's atmosphere, climate change is disrupting thesystems for producing and transporting that energy.
On Thursday, a U.S. Department ofEnergy (DOE) report urged that action be taken to address the nation's increasing risk ofblackouts and other breakdowns in power and fuel delivery.
(See related story: "Record Heat,Drought Pose Problems for U.S. Electric Power.
")"Increasing temperatures, decreasing water availability, more intense storm events, and sealevel rise will each independently, and in some cases in combination, affect the ability of theUnited States to produce and transmit electricity from fossil, nuclear, and existing andemerging renewable energy sources”.It catalogued a long list of impacts already occurring: the fuel shortages in New York andNew Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, the shutdowns of power plants in New England andIllinois last summer due to hot weather and drought, the restrictions placed on frackingcompanies' access to water in North Dakota and elsewhere.Such disruptions are likely to become "more frequent and intense" in the years ahead, thereport said.DOE's conclusions are not surprising to those in the energy industry.
"We are seeing moreand more impact on the system, so the utilities and public utility commissions are more andmore looking for solutions," says Jeff Hamel, executive director of power delivery utilizationfor the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).EPRI, a nonprofit research and development organization funded by the U.S. electric powerindustry, is hosting a workshop of about 30 utilities this week at its Lenox, Massachusettslaboratory.
Researchers are carrying out tests that involve, for example, trees falling on powerlines, to test technology to minimize disruption during intense storms.