Climate change impacts in the energy supply of the Brazilian hydrodominant power system

Significance Statement

Renewable energy is a perfect alternative to fossil fuels and is helping many nations curtail their dependence on oil supply and attain an environmentally friendly space. Therefore, new investments in renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass are helpful in meeting electricity demands and in minimizing the threats of global warming.

Climate change effects have been found to have a direct impact on renewables, which finally affects their electricity generation. For instance, hydroelectricity generation highly depends on water inflow, which is responsible for turning the hydro-turbines. In addition, the amount of water inflow counts on the amount of precipitation, a climate variable that is normally presented in rainfall-runoff models. Precipitation analyses in different places show contrasting rainfall characteristics as compared with historical data, and this is expected to intensify in days to come.

It therefore becomes important to account for different climatic scenarios in the analyses of renewable energy when designing efficient power systems. In a recent work published in Renewable Energy Professor Anderson Rodrigo de Queiroz and colleagues reported considerable advances in the investigation of climate change and climate scenario effects on water inflow generated by the regional Eta climate model. An optimization model is implemented when making a decision in the event of a hydro-thermal scheduling problem. Their work indicates that climate change can affect the system assured energy and the system’s capacity to supply load. The assured energy represents the amount of energy that a set of power plants can generate at a risk of 5% of deficit.

The authors considered two configurations of the Brazilian Power Generation System for their analysis. One was the existing generation system representing the current condition of the Brazilian Interconnected power system while the second was the future generation system, which represented the planned configuration. The proposed future generation system had ten sub-systems with two fictitious interconnection nodes.

The team implemented results from climate models to represent natural processes as well as their interactions in the atmosphere, and physical features. They used information from models, which accounts for characteristics of elements such as aerosols, snow, clouds, and solar radiation, to first simulate present climatic conditions before future projections.

The authors implemented the large basin rainfall-runoff hydrological model to evaluate rainfall-runoff functions for every river basin of the selected system. The model included selected soil and vegetation attributes of each region represented, and is composed of mathematical relations of soil water balance, surface and subsurface drainage as well as interception.

The researchers realized that the system assured energy was bigger for the first period taking into account the four members of the climate model. This was a concern considering that all the existing plants will most likely produce less electricity in days to come. From the results of the future generation system, the study indicated a similar decrease in electricity generation implying that with the proposed hydro power plant expansion, the effects of climate change will take the overall generation to approximately 28% less than the projected hydro-power production using the historical series. In fact, they recorded a drop of about 15% and 28% for existing generation system and future generation system respectively.

An increase in other water uses was also found to significantly affect the system’s assured energy. Increased domestic and industrial water demands would lead to reduced water inflows in the hydro plants, and consequently lead to reduced power generation.

In this paper, the authors provided a framework and performed an investigation implementing a combination of climatic projections scaled at regional levels, a generation optimizer and a rainfall-runoff model. This was in a bid to evaluate the effects of climate change in hydro power generation.

About The Author

Dr. Anderson Rodrigo de Queiroz is a research assistant professor in the CCEE department at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He is member of the computing and systems group and the Operations Research (OR) program at NCSU. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering, major in Power Systems, both from Federal University at Itajubá (UNIFEI), in Brazil, in 2005 and 2007, respectively. He has a Ph.D. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, in 2011. Prior to joining NCSU he worked as a consultant / researcher in several projects for the industry and utilities. From 2013 to 2015 he was an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNIFEI.

His research interests include operations research where his focus is on large-scale stochastic optimization, analytics and decision-making techniques with applications to planning and operation, economics and design of electrical and energy systems and climate-water-energy nexus.

About The Author

Dr. Luana Medeiros Marangon Lima is an analytical consultant at MC&E. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering both from Federal University at Itajubá (UNIFEI), in Brazil, in 2005 and 2007, respectively. She has a Ph.D. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, in 2011. She worked as a consultant in several projects applying OR techniques to solve energy related problems. From 2013 to 2016 she was an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNIFEI.

Her research interests include application of statistical methods to quantify and deal with uncertainty in data and the use of forecasts in decision-making models such as power generation planning and operation. She also has experience with transmission and distribution network regulation and pricing procedures in the new Smart Grid environment.

About The Author

Dr. José Wanderley Marangon Lima is a senior consultant at MC&E and a voluntary professor at Federal University at Itajubá (UNIFEI), Brazil. He has a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from IME/RJ (1979), B.SC. in Business Administration from UFRJ/RJ (1980), a D.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering from UFRJ/RJ (1994).

He is a Senior Member of IEEE and Cigré. From 1980 to 1993, he was with Eletrobrás as senior engineer working on Power System operations and planning. He was with UNIFEI as a Professor of Electrical Engineering (1993-2015). He did his sabbatical at University of Texas at Austin in the Operations Research Department (2005-2006). He was with the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL) as an advisor to director (1998-1999). He was the coordinator of the Price and Tariff Technical Committee at Ministry of Mines and Energy (2001-2002). In 2003, he was also with the Ministry of Mines and Energy and elaborated the New Brazilian Electricity Model. He is author and co-author of more than 150 papers published in journals and seminars about Energy, Regulation and Power Systems Operation and Planning. He has been a consultant for more than 20 companies and utilities.

About The Author

Dr. Benedito Cláudio da Silva is a assistant professor in the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of Federal University of Itajubá (UNIFEI), in Brazil. He is member of the Energy and Water Resources Group of NRI. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering, both from UNIFEI, in 1996 and 2000, respectively. He has a D.Sc. Degree in Water Resources from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil, in 2011. Prior to joining as assistant professor at UNIFEI he worked as a consultant / researcher in several projects. His research interests include Hydrological modeling, inflow forecasting, urban drainage, hydrological and meteorological integration, climate change, hydrometry, water resources management and hydropower plants.

About The Author

M.Sc. Luciana Alvim Scianni received her BSc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in 1993 and MSc in Electrical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Itajubá (UNIFEI) in 2014, with thesis on the Climate Change Impacts on Power Generation in Brazil.
With more than 15 years of experience on project management, she worked as senior Project Manager at SMS Demag LTDA between 2000 and 2006. At VALE, from 2006 to 2008, worked with prospection plans to install Steel Making Plants in Brazil. After that, she worked as the Market Intelligence Manager at Vale Soluções em Energia – VSE, from 2008 until 2010. Since 2010, she´s been working as a consultant at MC&E on projects in Power System economics and regulation.

References

Anderson Rodrigo de Queiroz1, Luana M. Marangon Lima2, Jose W. Marangon Lima3, Benedito C. da Silva4, and Luciana A. Scianni3. Climate change impacts in the energy supply of the Brazilian hydrodominant power system. Renewable Energy, volume 99 (2016), pages 379-389.

Show Affiliations
  1. CCEE Department at North Carolina State University, 2501 Stinson Dr., 27607, Raleigh, NC, USA
  2. Institute of Electrical and Energy Systems at the Federal University of Itajubá, BPS Av., 1303, 37500-903, Itajubá, MG, Brazil
  3. MC&E Research, R. Sebastião Pereira Leite, 48, 37500-099, Itajubá, MG, Brazil
  4. Institute of Natural Resources at the Federal University of Itajubá, BPS Av., 1303, 37500-903, Itajubá, MG, Brazil

 

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