Climate change impacts on electrical infrastructure have been recognized at the international, national, and industry level. While most electricity companies have been proactive in monitoring and planning for climate change and extreme weather, Electricity Canada has recognized the need to develop a clear, consistent, and flexible framework to guide their member companies through a risk-based climate change adaptation planning process that allows utilities to assess and respond to climate risks.
Climate risks and impacts are assessed within an integrated framework that connects adaptation planning processes with existing enterprise risk management (ERM) processes. The Electricity Canada risk management and assessment frameworks are in line with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) management systems (e.g., ISO-31000; ISO-27001) and are designed to be flexible and customizable by the utility members. Recognizing the diverse geography and structure of the electricity sector in Canada, Electricity Canada conducted a series of workshops and consultations with stakeholders to garner feedback that guided the production of the final guidance resources.
Electricity Canada provides guidance on how these processes can be applied by utilities through case examples. For example, consider critical infrastructure located in flood-prone areas.
To further support utilities in understanding the risks climate change poses to their assets and services and the types of mitigation controls and treatments, Electricity Canada developed climate impact tables on a wide range of climate variables, impacts and controls:
- Extreme weather (lighting, wind, storm surges)
- Precipitation (mean, extreme)
- Temperature (mean, extreme)
- Water levels (sea, lake, river)
- Water availability
- Ice cover (sea, lake, river)
- Ice loss (glacier, ice sheets)
- Vector- and rodent-borne disease