Overcoming the disconnect between energy system and climate modeling

Michael T. Craig, Jan Wohland, Laurens P. Stoop, Alexander Kies, Bryn Pickering, Hannah C. Bloomfield, Jethro Browell, Matteo De Felice, Chris J. Dent, Adrien Deroubaix, Felix Frischmuth, Paula L. M. Gonzalez, Aleksander Grochowicz, Katharina Gruber, Philipp Härtel, Martin Kittel, Leander Kotzur, Inga Labuhn, Julie K. Lundquist, Noah Pflugradt, Karinvan der Wiel, Marianne Zeyringer and David J. Brayshaw

Department of Energy, Office of Science, Earth & Environmental Systems Modeling, MultiSector Dynamics Program Acknowledged Support: No, other Non-MSD source of support

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2022.05.010

Abstract

An emerging body of literature highlights diverse threats that climate change might pose to reliable, resilient, affordable, and clean energy provision. The potential consequences of these threats are underscored by recent real-world events, like rolling blackouts in California and Texas. In recognition of these threats, a community of practice in energy-climate modeling has started to form that aims to better coordinate two types of models: (1) energy system models and (2) weather and climate models. Several disconnects between these two modeling communities hinder the use of the full potential of climate expertise and information in energy system modeling.

To overcome these disconnects, we propose a research agenda consisting of near-term interdisciplinary activities and long-term transdisciplinary activities among the energy and climate modeling communities. In the near-term, our proposed interdisciplinary activities aim to expedite the use of climate data in energy system modeling, generating much-needed insights for decision-makers. In the long-term, our proposed transdisciplinary activities aim to enable two developments: energy-system-tailored climate datasets for historical and future meteorological conditions and energy system models that can effectively leverage those datasets. Achieving this research agenda will require global energy and climate modeling communities and their funders to reframe and reconsider their methods and processes.

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