storm lightning

Ensuring that energy systems remain resilient under climate change

Laiz Souto & Matthew Wright
26 May 2023

Laiz Souto, a member of the Society’s Energy Special Interest Group, has published an article on, with contributions from Matthew Wright, RMetS’s Energy Science Engagement Fellow. The article discusses specific ways in which extreme weather can damage the UK’s power system, and how infrastructure can be adapted to make it resilient to extreme weather in the future.

Energy resilience has come sharply into focus over the past year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the associated energy crisis. But aside from geopolitical effects, extreme weather poses the greatest threat to maintaining reliable and affordable energy. Laiz Souto (University of Bristol) and Matthew Wright (University of Oxford, Royal Meterological Society) explain what is at stake.

Extreme weather includes high winds, lightning storms, and severe snow. These all pose a threat to the integrity of energy distribution networks, including power lines, substations and generation assets.

Under climate change, there is evidence that these events will increase in severity, frequency, or both. This poses new challenges to energy power system operators. They must be prepared for, and reactive to, more extreme events. In this article, we will use research from the University of Bristol to quantify the risks, and explore how the energy sector can remain resilient to extreme weather.

The full article can be read here.

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