Climate Change Assessment for Hydropower Project Licensing

In this case study, Manitoba Hydro developed and strengthened a climate-related capacity in-house, assembling a team with the appropriate knowledge and aptitude, and produced a detailed climate change impact assessment for the Nelson River.

Summary

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Hydropower facilities often represent significant long-term investments to be in operation for decades to come. Hence, taking climate change into account during the design of new hydropower projects is critical to ensure adequate planning and water resource management. In this case study, Manitoba Hydro developed and strengthened a climate-related capacity in-house, assembling a team with the appropriate knowledge and aptitude, and produced a detailed climate change impact assessment for the Nelson River to evaluate water availability and reliability over medium- and long-term scenarios and to determine uncertainties and risks. Moreover, as the company’s understanding of its climate dependency has increased substantially over time, Manitoba Hydro incorporated the assessment of future climate into its business strategy and resource planning. 

Key takeaways

– Public and stakeholder interest in climate resilience is strong and increasing;

– Developing in-house expertise while partnering with climate experts and other businesses is a good practice for highly climate-dependent energy;

– Developing and fully understanding climate change impact studies is a long process;

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