SusRenew addresses two challenges: The climate challenge of transition towards a renewable energy system with net-zero GHG emissions and low climate risk, and the energy challenge of ensuring access to enough energy at an affordable price. The European Environment Agency shows that without effective climate action, climate change will result in direct costs to the European energy system of several billion euros per year by the end of the century, with much greater indirect costs. Although Norway is a superpower in the energy field, we see few signs of putting these issues on the political agenda in any systematic way. The main message in recent policy documents is that climate change may be beneficial for the Norwegian energy system, because of the combined effects of increased hydropower production capacity due to expected increased precipitation and reduced energy consumption for heating due to increased temperatures. Major changes in the global energy system are needed to counteract climate change. At the same time, demand as well as the production of energy are affected by climate change. Nevertheless, studies show that ‘energy’ is the sector that has received the least attention in research on climate change adaptation. The research questions for SusRenew are: (1) How can the Norwegian renewables sector achieve low-emission targets set by the Norwegian authorities in 2050 and at the same time make the energy system sufficiently climate robust? (2) To what extent do current energy models used in energy policy decisions capture climate risk? (3) What are the most important climate hazards that may contribute to climate risk in a future renewable energy system? (4) What are the climate risks associated with a future renewable energy system? (5) How can new knowledge about climate risk be implemented in energy models that are used in energy policy decision-making processes? (6) How can climate risk be reduced in the ongoing transition to a renewable energy system?
SusRenew addresses the ongoing transition towards a future renewable and net-zero GHG emission energy system. More precisely, the project will investigate how to assess and reduce climate risk that may arise because of this transition. The project relies on comprehensive participation from stakeholders in the renewable energy sector, covering representatives from energy providers, public as well as private end-users of energy, and energy policy actors. The project will co-produce knowledge about compound climate events that may affect the energy system, i.e. various hazard events that can occur at the same time over different regions. A new generic climate risk model for presenting risk scenarios will be produced, and the implementation of knowledge emerging from this model will test various energy models currently in use within energy system decision making. The methodology of the project rests on the IPCC conceptualization and definitions of climate risk, which describes climate risks as the interaction between vulnerability, exposure, and climate hazards. Furthermore, the project will apply the Impact Chain framework to analyze such risks, a framework that places great emphasis on user involvement. Finally, the project will develop adaptation strategies for the renewable energy system based on the result of the modeling of climate risks.