11 months ago

Climate Action 2011-2012


Climate Change adaptation A crucial component of our Sustainable Development Policy The development of the EDF Group adaptation strategy started from the premise that the Earth’s climate is changing. The full range of impacts may not yet be fully understood, but the climatic evolution has started and mitigation measures will be, in the short term at least, insufficient to stop it. EDF Group devised an adaptation strategy that focuses on the principal challenges that lie ahead up to 2100. We assumed a range of plausible long-term climate and economic scenarios to create a description of the likely effects on natural systems and processes. MITIGATION VERSUS ADAPTATION The most important means of minimizing the impacts of climate change, and thus the need for adaptation, is to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the global scale as early as possible. EDF Group is the world’s number one nuclear energy company and Europe’s number one hydro-power company. Our existing electricity generation fleet has the lowest carbon intensity of all major European energy companies. We believe that low-carbon electricity generation has a vital role to play in cutting global carbon emissions, and we are leading this energy change. However, climate scenarios show no significant downturn in the current global-warming trend for decades to come, even if drastic action were to be taken immediately at a global scale. So, whilst our business strategy focuses on climate change mitigation through widespread adoption of low-carbon generation, we must also prepare ourselves for the impacts of climate change that will occur. Indeed, EDF has already started to make significant changes to its operations in response to changes to the climate that have already occurred. CLIMATE IMPACTS Climate change, observed and foreseen, influences EDF’s activities in a variety of ways through impacts on existing installations, organisations, markets and stakeholders. For example, many of our nuclear and thermal power stations use river water for cooling and discharge warm water back into rivers, a heavily regulated process. Hotter summers would increase river temperatures limiting our authorization to discharge warm water. A warmer but more turbulent climate would also impact our distribution networks. Warmer summers would decrease efficiency, and stormier winters would cause more structural damage. And we are already seeing our customers’ demands change with more people using air-conditioning in summer. As a result, electricity demand in some markets peaks in the summer rather than in winter, reversing the historical trend. This has consequences for maintenance planning and for network reinforcement. Adaptation to climate change refers to the capacity of EDF’s main activities to adjust to these changes, either through minimizing the adverse impacts or by taking advantage of the benefits. A proper adaptation strategy needs to take into account all of these aspects and to prioritize them.

EDF’S CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION STRATEGY Launched in 2010, EDF’s adaptation strategy comprises 10 key points, implemented through action plans within each Group business line or company. Gaining ■ access to relevant and sufficient information • Produce and exchange the right climate-related data and launch a joint project of databases for our businesses. Adapting ■ existing facilities certain to stay in the landscape for a long time • Adapt our facilities, operating processes, in addition to our Climate Hazards Plan. ■Mainstreaming the expected consequences of climate change into our design of future assets and facilities • From the onset of the design phase, the future climate is one of the design parameters for future power-generation facilities. Boosting ■ our resilience to extreme climate events through direct application of our Climate Hazard Plan – Preparing for crisis management • Prevent an extreme climate event from having catastrophic impacts, and return to initial status as early as possible. Adapting ■ our offers to climate change • Based on consumer needs, also affected by climate change. • Factor in new uses, in particular smart grids and electric vehicles. Adapting ■ our internal operations and expertise to climate change • Adapt the working environment and skills. Activating ■ the right R&D to address the right topics • Deliver information on the latest breakthroughs about the predictable effects of climate change. • Provide support to define their impacts on our facilities and organisations. • Contribute to the construction of our future asset base. ■Mainstreaming national and international solidarity when implementing our adaptation measures • Solidarity in energy issues, and consequently in health issues as well. Incorporating ■ knowledge breakthroughs into our strategy • Initiate and monitor action plans to implement this adaptation strategy. • Update the strategy based on the latest climate change forecasts. Crédit photos : RaoUl Jean-Claude, ContY Bruno – médiathèque edF Reinforcing ■ dialogue between our entities and our respective public authorities • Participate actively to the national debates devoted to the development of national climate adaptation strategy. design Examples of adaptation • the small changes to the climate that we have already experienced have forced edF energy to re-assess their view of “normal” temperatures. By integrating the results of climate change prediction models edF energy is now able to more accurately forecast gas and electricity demand over the medium term (3 to 5 year ahead). • meltwater from underneath the mer de glace, in the alps near Chamonix, feeds the 40mW “les Bois” hydropower plant. edF has redesigned the sub-glacial water intake, as accelerated glacier retreat will soon leave the water intake stranded. • extended periods of hot weather can affect electricity production. power plants extracting water from rivers, for cooling or for steam, must work within strict boundaries to ensure stable river water temperatures, so as to comply with regulations. in order to adjust generation output at its power stations beside large rivers in France, and to provide quality information to the authorities, edF has developed more efficient hydro-meteorological forecasting systems which consider water temperatures and river flow rates. edF is therefore better able to predict the impact of heat waves on its generation capacity and to effectively anticipate periods when river levels are too low, or water temperatures are too high.

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