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Infrastructure Report Card 9. Nuclear, Coal, Oil and Gas Energy

Lookup NU author(s): Edward Byers, Professor Jaime AmezagaORCiD



This is the final published version of a working paper that has been published in its final definitive form by Living with Environmental Change (LWEC), 2015.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


As one of the most critical economic and infrastructural sectors of a modern economy, the energy sector is well established in the UK and provides a lifeline on which the health, safety and prosperity of the nation depends. The nuclear, coal, oil and gas industries, are referred to as subsectors of the energy sector in this paper. The sector has been long prepared for disruptions, of which weather-related disruptions are generally well understood, prepared for, and for which there is a rapidly growing body of evidence, data and knowledge. In preparation for climate change, weather impacts are increasingly studied through a variety of lenses. For example, and most obvious, is the study of the impact of more extreme weather events and climate, such as more intense and erratic rainfall, or higher maximum air temperatures. However, climate change may also alter the long term performance of our energy systems, simply as seasonal mean temperatures change. Furthermore, societal behaviour and responses, to both changing means and extremes, are also likely to change, with particular impacts on demands for energy. This working paper explores the current knowledge base surrounding climate change impacts on the supply side of the nuclear, coal, oil and gas subsectors in the UK, including electricity generation using these fuels. It does not cover demand-side impacts, neither the electricity transmission system. This report considers climate risks primarily between now and the 2050s, which is approximately the expected working life of infrastructure recently, or soon to be commissioned.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Byers E, Amezaga JM

Publication type: Working Paper

Publication status: Published

Journal: RIDE Forum - Climate change impacts report cards

Year: 2015

Pages: 29

Publisher: Living with Environmental Change (LWEC)