World Bank and Ministry of the Environment launch PSR study on the impact of climate change on the power sector by the year 2030

Studies – 18.07.2017

Last Friday, July 14th, the study "Low Hydrology Scenario for the Brazilian Power Sector (2016-2030) - Climate Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions" was launched at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) in Brasilia. The work was developed by PSR for the World Bank in the context of the Partnership for Market Readiness.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the impacts of dry hydrology scenarios on the emissions of the Brazilian power sector, given that the electric matrix is mostly hydroelectric and the reduction of inflows to the hydro plants intensifies the use of fossil fueled thermal plants.

The study used models for planning the operation of the power system and statistical methods for the selection of hydrological scenarios - both well established by the power sector. By 2030, the variability of cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases (comparison between worst and best hydrology) is twice. On an annual scale, the variability is naturally greater: four times.

The work presented an alternative to studies based on climate change scenarios generated by a general circulation model that are then regionalized (downscaling process) and translated in terms of hydrological variability through rainfall-runoff models. These "climate" methods tend to present very critical results, being less accepted by sector agents, who tend to evaluate them as "implausible".

The report was translated into English by the World Bank after undergoing an internal peer review. The Bank's objective is to disseminate globally the approach of the study because it believes that it can be used by other countries - especially those with relevant hydroelectric participation - to meet the commitments related to national contributions under the Paris Agreement (COP21).

World Bank experts Christophe de Gouvello and Thadeu Abicalil coordinated the study. The PSR team responsible for the study included Rafael Kelman (coordinator), Pedro Ávila, Bernardo Bezerra, Ana Carolina Deveza and Tarcisio Castro.

To access the study, click here.

For news and photos on the Ministry of Environment website, click here.

From left to right: Rafael Kelman, Christophe de Gouvello and Ana Carolina Deveza