ISLAMABAD, July 11: The Asian Development Bank has warned that electric power in Asia and the Pacific is a vulnerable sector in a vulnerable region in view of climate change impacts.

Concluding that fossil fuel production and transportation is vulnerable to climate change, coal is expected to be the main fuel for Asia’s electricity production for the next several decades. In this regard, the study referred the oil refineries in Pakistan which were shut down due to flooding in 2010.

The report, ‘Climate Risk and Adaptation in the Electric Power Sector’, says that coal mine operations require a considerable volume of water to allow discharges into rivers from open pits without breaching water quality regulations.

However, too much rainfall can degrade the quality of coal stockpiles by increasing moisture content and can affect coal output and transport through flooding.

New and existing mining developments could include improved flood hazard assessments. Other options include reassessing flood-prone areas and elevating buildings or vulnerable components above the 100-year flood contour level; flood-proofing buildings; and adopting techniques that slow, steer, and block water flows.

Besides, the force of extreme weather events can dislodge underwater pipelines from the seabed and cause structural damage including dents, kinks and separation from risers.

Climate change vulnerability puts countries and cities at risk; and of the world’s 20 fastest growing cities, six in the sub-continent have been classified at ‘extreme risk’. An additional 10 cities, globally, rated at ‘high risk’ including Karachi.

Much of the Asia-Pacific electric power infrastructure is located at places where weather and climate change are expected to be increasing variable, such as areas that are flood prone, low-lying, drought prone, and highly exposed to severe storms.

According to the report, climate change is expected to affect the entire sector, including fuel mining or production, fuel transportation to power plants, electricity generation, high voltage transmission through grid networks, and low voltage distribution to consumers. Patterns of energy load growth and end-use demand by consumers will also be altered by climate change.

Asia and the Pacific is thus, projected to experience significant impacts from climate change and with in which the electric power sector is highly vulnerable; besides, fuel mining or production, fuel transportation to power plants, electricity generation, high voltage transmission through grid networks, and low voltage distribution to consumers. Patterns of energy load growth and end-use demand by consumers will also be altered by climate change.


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