Europe is facing one of the worst heatwaves in its history. The heatwaves are causing drought in many parts of Europe. Drought highlights dangers for electricity supplies in the continent.
The electricity generated from hydropower has dropped down by 20% due to climate change. Power generated from nuclear plants seems restricted as well. Since they require water to cool down as well.
In the UK, high temperatures are hitting electricity production through fossil fuels, water, and nuclear plants. It is due to the technology in power plants and solar panels working much less well in high temperatures.
Italy gets around 1/5th of its power from hydro. However, the supply has fallen by 40% in the past year.
According to data from energy researchers, electricity generation has dropped by 44% in Spain.
The dry spell is putting further pressure on energy supplies. Europe is scrambling for alternative sources as the Russia-Ukraine war continues.
Hydropower is a significant source of energy for Europe. However, the lack of water in rivers and reservoirs is reducing the ability of facilities to produce electricity.
Norway is also experiencing issues with hydroelectricity. As a result, Norway has warned countries that it may not be able to continue to export energy unless its reservoirs are refilled.
According to reports, one of the reasons for the decreased production of electricity is declining investment in the sector. Some reports also suggest that these issues would continue during the winters as well. Therefore, the current situation should be a wake-up for the industry and investors.
The weather is also hitting the nuclear plants severely, especially in France. 56 of its nuclear plants are offline. Several of them are facing system failures as well.
“Once the water in the rivers is very low and very hot, basically you have to stop cooling down nuclear power plants. That’s because the water that’s released is dangerous for fish and other species in the rivers,” said Prof Sonia Seneviratne.