Climate and energy scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new method to pinpoint which electrical service areas will be most vulnerable as populations grow and temperatures rise.
“For the first time, we were able to apply data at a high enough resolution to be relevant,” said ORNL’s Melissa Allen, co-author of “Impacts of Climate Change on Sub-regional Electricity Demand and Distribution in the Southern United States,” published in Nature Energy.
Allen and her team developed new algorithms that combine ORNL’s unique infrastructure and population datasets with high-resolution climate simulations run on the lab’s Titan supercomputer. The integrated approach identifies substations at the neighborhood level and determines their ability to handle additional demand based on predicted changes in climate and population.
The new, high-resolution capability can explore the interconnections in complex systems such as critical infrastructure and weather and determine potential pathways to adapt to future global change, a press release said. [Read more…]