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Using Climate Change Risk Assessment Wisely

This case study explores how EirGrid, Ireland’s public electricity Transmission System Operator (TSO) and ESB Networks (ESBN), Ireland’s Transmission Asset Owner (TAO), completed risk assessment to manage risks posed by climate change.

Summary

Risk assessment, a tool widely used in most industries to identify and manage various potential risks, is proving to be particularly successful in managing climate change risks. Such an assessment was completed by EirGrid, Ireland’s public electricity Transmission System Operator (TSO) and ESB Networks (ESBN), Ireland’s Transmission Asset Owner (TAO). Flooding was identified as the main risk for the transmission network, therefore, EirGrid and ESBN have initiated remedial projects to mitigate this risk, basing their investment decisions on screening techniques. The risk assessment also helps the companies develop policies and procedures to ensure that new transmission equipment is robust enough to endure expected climatic conditions, to take climate change into consideration during the site-selection process, and to develop an adaptation plan for the electricity sector, as required by law.

Key take-aways

  • Many tools, including assessment of climate change risks, are available and helpful to address questions related to climate change and to structure adaptation efforts.
  • Collaborating with an external climate-savvy consultant is a good way to start building adaptation capacity.

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