2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Integrating climate change in the evaluation of hydroelectric asset value

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Mr. Richard Arsenault, École de technologie supérieure (Presenter)
Mrs. Katherine Pineault, Ouranos
Mrs. Élyse Fournier, Ouranos
Dr. Alexis Hannart, Ouranos
Mrs. Annabelle Lamy, Ouranos

Hydroelectric asset owners and managers, as well as other stakeholders, take financial and economic decisions based on the evaluation of their asset values. Amongst other factors, the value of hydroelectric assets depends upon their productivity and investments needed to maintain their integrity, safety and adaptability. Climate change may have an impact at both levels, as it will modify water supplies around the globe.

To date, it appears that the impacts of climate change on water supplies are rarely considered in the evaluation of hydroelectric asset values. In cases where it is, the methodologies used are specific to each analyst or organisation and are not based on comprehensive and peer-reviewed methods or recommended guidelines. The lack of recognised methodologies may lead to suboptimal investment decisions and may lead to maladaptation to climate change.

Ouranos, with the support and funding from Natural Resources Canada, Manitoba Hydro, Ontario Power Generation, Innergex, Brookfield Energy and Hydro-Quebec, aims to provide and disseminate a methodological framework to include climate change information in the evaluation of hydroelectric asset values. The co-construction of the framework with practitioners of the hydroelectric industry is central to the project. The framework must take into account real-life constraints, such as schedules, availability of data and tools, capacity of human resources, etc. that will be identify through the collaborative research process.

The first phase of the project consists of setting a baseline to assess the needs, challenges and current practices of including climate change in the evaluation of hydroelectric asset values. This will be undertaken through interviews with different stakeholders, workshops with project partners and a thorough literature review of best practices and methodological developments. Subsequent phases of the project include the development of the methodological framework, the preparation of case studies, as well as results dissemination through scientific articles, webinars and workshops.

Our presentation will discuss the project context and its objectives, as well as the insights derived from the concluded first phase of the project. Attendees will learn about scientific development and the best practices identified in the industry. They will also gain insight into the results from the workshops and the interviews. The presentation will enrich the reflection of the financial implications of climate change impacts, and will discuss tools and methods to include them in the evaluation of hydroelectric asset values.