As part of the Administration’s efforts to support national climate change adaptation planning through the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and Strategic Sustainability Planning process -- and to advance the Energy Department’s goal of promoting energy security -- the Department released the U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extreme Weather report.
The report examines current and potential future impacts of climate change trends on the U.S. energy sector, including:
- Coastal energy infrastructure is at risk from sea level rise, increasing storm intensity and higher storm surge and flooding.
- Oil and gas production -- including refining, hydraulic fracturing and enhanced oil recovery -- is vulnerable to decreasing water availability.
- Renewable energy resources -- particularly hydropower, bioenergy and concentrating solar power -- could be affected by increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and increasing frequency and intensity of droughts.
- Electricity transmission and distribution systems carry less current and operate less efficiently when ambient air temperatures are higher, and may face increasing risks of physical damage from more intense and frequent storms and wildfires.
The report identifies activities underway to address these challenges. It also discusses policies and strategies to speed deployment of more more climate-resilient energy technologies.