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US Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience

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Practice provided by

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Type of organisation: Department of Energy

Country: United States

Level of government: Central government

Type of practice: Other

Type of hazard or threat:

Risk management theme: Risk governance

The Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience is a voluntary initiative to enhance U.S. energy security by improving the resilience of energy infrastructure to extreme weather and climate change impacts. The goal is to accelerate investment in technologies, practices, and policies that will enable a resilient 21st century energy system. Under this Partnership, owners and operators of energy assets develop and pursue strategies to reduce climate and weather-related vulnerabilities. Collectively, these Partners and the Department of Energy (DOE) will develop resources to facilitate risk-based decision making and pursue cost-effective strategies for a more climate-resilient U.S. energy infrastructure.Through this partnership, leading providers of electricity services agree to: • Commit to enhancing climate resilience by identifying and prioritising climate vulnerabilities and develop resilience strategies • Take action by pursuing resilience strategies and assessing costs and benefits of investments • Measure and report results by sharing experiences of activities in climate resilience that have been implemented = In exchange, the US Department of Energy agrees to: • Share information and technical assistance on climate science, emerging climate resilience best practices, technologies and policies • Develop and deploy tools for assessing vulnerabilities and evaluate the costs and benefits of climate resilience investments • Provide national recognition to Partners for implementing measures to enhance energy infrastructure resilience

Why the good practice was developed

The Partnership builds upon the lessons learned through previously conducted initiatives identified in the President’s Climate Action Plan, “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change” and the opportunities identified in DOE’s reports U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather; This report highlighted that the energy sector faces increasing pressures from climate change and extreme weather events. Sources of US energy sector vulnerabilities stem from various phenomenon: • Decreasing water availability, reducing available thermoelectric and hydropower generation capacity, impacting oil and gas production and impeding barge transport of crude oil, petroleum products and coal. • Increasing temperature, which leads to an increase in electricity demand for cooling as well as reduces the efficiency of thermoelectric power generation. • Increasing sea level rise and heightened intensity and frequency of storms and flooding, potentially damaging or disrupting coastal and offshore oil and gas facilities as well as electric transmission and distribution lines, and threatening inland and coastal thermoelectric facilities

Objectives

  • Provide a mechanism for sustained engagement between the US Department of Energy and energy companies that are committed to development and deployment of effective short- and long-term strategies for enhancing resilience to extreme weather and climate change.
  • Enhance energy security by collaborating with the private sector to establish an energy system resilient to extreme weather and climate change.
  • Promote investment in technologies, practices, and policies that will enable a resilient and modern energy system
  • Establish a forum where companies pursuing action on climate resilience can exchange knowledge and best practices, as well as receive recognition for their achievements

Efficiency

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User satisfaction

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Results

  • The Partnership has successfully engaged 17 leading providers of electricity services, which collectively represent approximately 20 percent of US generating capacity and serve approximately 25 percent of US customers.
  • The participants of the Partnership conveyed at high level On 30 April 2015, a roundtable discussion has been organised by the US Department of Energy and reunited the Partnership’s signatories. Participants discussed the goals and objectives of the Partnership, as well as gaps and opportunities for collaboration.

Lessons Learned

 

  • Engaging the private sector in a partnership towards increased resilience requires developing mutual trust which builds over the long term.
  • The renewal of ageing infrastructures and innovations (e.g. smart grids) provide tremendous opportunities for further integrating climate resilience in the energy sector.