EGU22-6907, updated on 11 Apr 2023
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Extreme impacts in the European renewable electricity system as a result of climate variability 

Lieke van der Most1, Karin van der Wiel2, Richard Bintanja1,2, René Benders1, and Winnie Leenes1
Lieke van der Most et al.
  • 1Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 2Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), R&D Weather and Climate Modeling, De Bilt, The Netherlands

With the need for clean energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the coming decades will see a transition of our energy system towards a higher share of renewable energy sources. With this work we aim at gaining insight in meteorological conditions that lead to extremely low energy generation and extremely high residual load (difference between production and demand) in European countries. We constructed a simplified climate-energy modeling framework in which extreme impact events on the European energy system can be examined. We compute daily electricity demand and the supply from hydropower, wind and photovoltaic solar, based on 2000 years of simulated present and future weather conditions for countries in Europe. From this data the meteorological drivers with high impact on the current energy system were investigated for individual countries and larger regions. Atmospheric blocking in summer can result in heatwaves and droughts that in turn result in long-lasting periods of high energy demands in countries with large cooling capacities (southern Europe) and low energy production in countries that rely on hydropower. In winter, dry and cold periods with lower than normal windspeeds lead to high residual load in northern European countries, especially around the North Sea. These countries have a high share of offshore wind and high installed heating capacities. Dry seasons lead to a higher sensitivity to wind and solar variability due to a decrease in balancing potential of hydropower. Additionally, the co-variability of electricity shortage events between countries is investigated. The goal is to identify balancing potential of transmission between countries. Due to different demand profiles across Europe and the spatial variability of weather the potential of extreme event reduction through cross-border transmission is high.

How to cite: van der Most, L., van der Wiel, K., Bintanja, R., Benders, R., and Leenes, W.: Extreme impacts in the European renewable electricity system as a result of climate variability , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6907,, 2022.


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