Climate change causing disruptions in the U.S. energy supply, DOE report says

New_DOE_Logo_Color_042808_sizedBy Christy Gren, Industry Leaders Magazine — According to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy, rising temperatures can reduce production at power plants. Power plants may reduce their power generation or shut-down temporarily.

climate changeHigher air and water temperatures,  up 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century, scarcer water resources, rise in the sea level, which are accompanied by drought, heat waves, storms and wildfires   routinely disrupt modern energy infrastructure.  The report says it is likely to worsen in the coming years. A range of energy sources are at risk, from coal-fired power plants to oil wells, hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants.

Climate-related catastrophes have already costs tens of billions of dollars, and the report says costs could grow by leaps and bounds unless a more extensive and expedite response is adopted. The effects are already being felt, the report says. Power plants are closing down or reducing output because of a shortage of cooling water. Barges carrying coal and oil are being delayed by low water levels in major waterways. Floods and storm surges are inundating ports, refineries, pipelines and rail yards. Powerful windstorms and raging wildfires are felling transformers and transmission lines. Read more.

Posted July 25, 2013