THE SECOND ROUND CLIM-RUN WORKSHOPS
Clare Goodess - UEA, United Kingdom
1.1 Introduction, by Clare Goodess - UEA, United Kingdom
May and June 2013 have been a busy period for the CLIM-RUN case studies. Stakeholder workshops have been held in almost all of the case-study areas. They have attracted a wide range of stakeholders from governmental, industrial and academic organisations with presentations and discussions taking place in English, French, Italian, Croatian and Greek. The main aims of this second round of workshops were to review the utility of the climate products and information developed in CLIM-RUN based on the user needs identified during the first round of workshops, and to review the process of interaction between CLIM-RUN scientists and case-study stakeholders. Many of the products were presented in the form of product information sheets (see below) and stakeholders’ views on the clarity of information, as well as its relevance and usability were sought. Reports of each workshop are currently being written up and will feed into the CLIM-RUN annual meeting taking place in Rome later in July. One of the objectives of the latter meeting will be to draw out common and cross-cutting messages from the workshops which will feed into the CLIM-RUN protocol for the development of Mediterranean climate services. Brief reports on a few of the workshops are provided below.
1.2 The tourism sector: the case studies of Tunisia, Savoie, and Croatia, by Adeline Cauchy - TEC, France
The second round of workshops on tourism sector was held during the months of May and June in Tunisia, Savoie and Croatia. These workshops provided a new opportunity to deeply interact with stakeholders in the tourism sector on key issues of the project. Climate and stakeholders teams presented a selection of past and future climate products, supposed to answer user needs and improve their decision making in the context of climate change:
• For the Tunisian seaside tourism: indicators of the bathing season (Seasonal SST forecasts for Summer), a new Tourism Comfort Index, Changes in temperature, precipitation and sea level in 2050.
• For Croatia: Thermal component of climate potential for tourism in Croatia
• For summer tourism in Savoie Mountain: a set of products related to past and future climate (from latest available projections) related to trends on mean parameters (spring snow, temperature, precipitation) and extremes (heavy rainfall, droughts etc.. ) at different geographical scale and altitude, a product on the evolution of the temperature of the water mountain lake etc.
Discussions on the format and accessibility of the information occurred. For operational stakeholders in Savoie, it appears clearly that the most appropriate way to communicate on climate projections is to produce curves, otherwise, data are entirely open to interpretation using a set of maps. This situation may imply disturbing situations between actors with distinct values and interests. Thus, stakeholders underlined a need for a product that is analyzed, adapted, and specific. It could avoid individual interpretations. It is also useless to accumulate graphics. The best is to have one graphic, clear and explicit with a detailed analysis.
• In addition to those discussions, stakeholders expressed their point of view on the final use of these products in improving the decision making process and reducing the vulnerability of the sector. For instance, in Tunisia, the use of the SST seasonal forecast could help the tourism sector to exploit the opportunity of a longer bathing season or manage the risk of a shorter one. The discussions showed perspectives regarding the dissemination and sustainability of the products (via local or national institutions (e.g. Observatory of Climate Change in Savoie or Institute of Meteorology in Tunisia).
1.3 The Northern Adriatic integrated case study, by: Valentina Giannini - CMCC, Italy
On 28 May 2013 the second workshop for the integrated case study of the Northern Adriatic coast of Italy took place, hosted by ICTP in Trieste. The same stakeholders who had been invited to the first workshop were again invited. This time eleven stakeholders participated from the following institutions: Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia Met services, Friuli Venezia Giulia geologic department and environmental agency, Municipality of Venice, Extension Service of the Rivers Ledra and Tagliamento, and Marine Protected Area of Miramare.
The CLIM-RUN expert team introduced the CLIM-RUN project (Valentina Giannini), presented the newly-developed climate products for the region (Alessio Bellucci, Erika Coppola), and described the parameters used to assess risk in coastal areas (Silvia Torresan, Valentina Gallina). Generally speaking the stakeholders were pleased with the results presented and engaged researchers with questions and comments, thus demonstrating their knowledge of and/or interest in climate services.
The main messages voiced were: how to acquire data and methodologies to understand future climate scenarios, and how to derive local conditions by downscaling; and the need to understand climate impacts in order to plan how to minimize and/or prevent risk, and to adapt to climate change.
At the end of the workshop, Valentina Giannini confirmed that this would be the last workshop organized for stakeholders’ interaction, but nevertheless the whole CLIM-RUN team gave availability to collaborate should needs and opportunities arise. This opportunity was accepted right away, e.g. by the representatives of the Venezia Municipality and the Regional Environmental Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Finally, stakeholders were informed that they will receive the final climate products and risk assessment parameters, which will be developed by the CLIM-RUN research partners.
1.4 Climate Information Products at the Maghreb Wind Energy Congress, by Peter Schmidt (PIK) and Sandro Calmanti (ENEA)
After the first round of stakeholder workshops in Spain, Cyprus, Croatia and Morocco between spring and autumn 2011, the second round of workshops of the CLIM-RUN energy case study started in May 2013. The most important goal to be pursued is to consolidate interactions with stakeholders in the different case-study regions. More particularly, climate information should be disseminated in the form of climate information products which are drafted in line with the stakeholder needs and wants that were identified during the first rounds of workshops in 2011. Ideally, the second workshops should trigger feedback from stakeholders to further define and improve the climate information products.
The Maghreb Wind Energy Congress 2013
From the CLIM-RUN energy case-study team, Sandro Calmanti (ENEA) and Peter Schmidt (PIK) kicked off the second round of workshops in Morocco at the Maghreb Wind Energy Congress. This congress, which took place in Rabat 21/22 May 2013, is the main industry focused wind power event in Morocco. Besides leading investors in wind energy projects in the region (IFC, World Bank, Société Generale), representatives from pioneering companies (Sahara Wind, Valorem Energie) which are working on small and large scale wind energy projects in the Mediterranean region, also key representatives from North African governments (ONE, MASEN) and international associations (IRENA, Dii) attended the Rabat congress. In total, around 300 participants were present. Organizations which were consulted during the first workshops were represented at the congress too. The CLIM-RUN team aimed at consolidating existing contacts with those interested in wind products and engaged with new stakeholders from the wind energy industry to increase the level of feedback on the climate information products.
Strategic stakeholder interactions at two levels
The CLIM-RUN team followed a two-fold dissemination approach to further distribute climate information at the congress. First, the CLIM-RUN project was presented at the Wind Energy Maghreb 2013 speaker session on 22 May. In the same panel, also representatives from Valorem Energie and Lafarge gave presentations on exploring the complexities of wind farm design, siting, planning, and the procedure to get permits for new wind turbines in the MENA region. The CLIM-RUN team outlined the potential of scenarios and forecast data availability at the seasonal to decadal to climatic scale; introduced three climate information prototype products for the wind industry prepared by the CLIMRUN Climate Expert Teams at ENEA (Italy) and IC3 (Spain); and pointed to challenges and potential synergies. One example of the climate products presented is shown in Figure 1, consisting of an analysis of the uncertainty of future wind speed changes at a test site (Rabat). For this product, 20 climate simulations from the ENSEMBLES archive have been considered. The example shows a histogram of the simulated winter and summer wind speed changes for the period 2021-2050, with respect to the period 1961-1990. The other products presented at the conference focus on wind forecasting at seasonal-to-decadal time scale and on the mapping of wind scenarios and are available on the CLIM-RUN web portal.
Figure 1. Histogram of the simulated winter (left panel) and summer (right panel) wind speed changes for the period 2021-2050 with respect to 1961-1990 from 20 high-resolution (25 km) regional climate model simulations from the ENSEMBLES archive (ensemblesrt3.dmi.dk). Positive and negative wind speed changes are highlighted with colours: blue for weaker winds and red for stronger winds. The labels inside each bar indicate the global climate model which drives a regional climate model producing the corresponding wind speed change.
During the subsequent discussion which was attended by 30 participants, questions were raised regarding how e.g. Valorem Energie deals with mid-to long-term wind variability and climatic changes in wind energy project planning. Furthermore, it was asked how CLIM-RUN results could be used for 10 years planning of wind power plants. In both cases the potential relevance of the climate information products was stressed as a potential tool to support mid- to long-term planning in the wind energy industry. The discussion highlighted two main issues. First, the current lack of reliable wind-energy project planning tools which go beyond the short term (i.e. weather time scale, 1-3 days). Second, the challenge to cope with the uncertainties of mid- to long-term wind energy planning tools based on seasonal, decadal, and climate change time scales.
The second strand of our approach consisted of face-to-face discussions with ten stakeholders from the policy and the wind energy related investment sector. Generally, the climate information product sheets were perceived as a step forward towards delivering tailor-made climate information. Yet the usability of the products remains a matter for discussion. The main reason is the high uncertainty involved in forecasting mid- to long-term climate changes and the limitations this has for the bankability of a project. While this is a general concern shared by all stakeholders, it was foremost stressed by representatives from the private finance industry. It was suggested to use regional climate models for long-term backcasting and to adjust the models correspondingly. This could improve the validity of the results from climate models and help to narrow the gap between P90 and P50 values, the main parameters in wind energy production assessments. IRENA proposed to further discuss the potential usefulness of the wind scenario map in the light of developing more advanced wind atlases for the MENA region.
Conclusion and Outlook
The results from stakeholder interactions at the congress clearly indicate a need for tools to better understand changes in temporal and spatial distribution of wind due to climate variability and change. Yet the level of awareness of mid- to long-term climate related risks in the wind energy industry is very low, compared to regulatory and political risks which rank highest.
The Maghreb Wind Energy Congress was a starting point to confront stakeholders with prototypes of climate information products. To make the products usable in the wind energy sector, one of the biggest challenges to overcome is to improve and better define the level of uncertainty in wind scenarios and forecasts. Although the level of detailed, concrete feedback from stakeholders on the climate information products was limited during the conference, all stakeholders agreed upon disseminating and discussing the climate information products within their organization in more detail. Some stakeholders have already shown interest in the wind scenario map in order to explore its potential in the light of further developing wind atlases.
CLIM-RUN invites all interested parties and is looking forward to potential collaborations with stakeholders from the wind energy sector in several areas (e.g. calibration of climate models to specific sites, developing statistics of extremes, identification of critical thresholds).
1.5 The energy sector – Zagreb, Croatia, June 6th, 2013, Robert Pasicko - UNDP Croatia
As the nexus between meteorology and energy is getting more and more attention with the growth of investments in renewable energy, it also means that there was an interest from possible stakeholders to participate in a second workshop and to discuss possible climate services available including the Product Sheets prepared within the CLIM-RUN project. The second stakeholder workshop in the energy field was co-organized by DHMZ and UNDP Croatia. Local stakeholders were represented from academic, research, business, consultancy and regulator’s organizations and companies (all together 28 participants).
The opening remarks were given by Cedo Brankovic, national coordinator of the CLIM-RUN project in Croatia, who presented basic information on the workshop goals and the project. It was followed by two presentations, each focusing on climate variables that are needed by renewable energy sources – in particular, wind and hydro energy. Alica Bajic (DHMZ) stated that according to results from Regional Climate Models, the increase of wind speed in the period 2040-2070 in Croatia in some regions could be significantly higher than today's wind speed. The energy yield from wind generators increases with the cubic relation with wind speeds. However, it does not mean that a huge increase in wind speed will lead to higher wind energy production because the most important factor is the wind distribution. Renata Sokol Jurkovic (DHMZ) focused on the importance of climate information for energy production from hydro power, showing the case of the hydro power plant Senj in Croatia. Robert Pasicko (UNDP) gave a presentation on the interactions between climate change and energy generation from renewable energy sources. He concluded that by the midcentury in Croatia a neutral impact is expected of climate variables on electricity generation from PV, a positive impact on generation (in terms of higher value) from wind parks and a rather negative impact on generation from hydropower because of frequent periods of droughts.
During the lively panel discussion it was emphasized that due to the complexity of the interactions between the climate system and different energy sources, it is important to have both ways of communication open between climate experts and users: i.e., to combine a bottom-up with a top-down approach, in order to get better understanding of mutual activities. That was most evident in communication between the Croatian Power Company (HEP) and the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ).
The discussion that followed searched for the value of climate information in planning electricity generation from hydropower plants. The potential areas of interaction between CLIM-RUN and stakeholders in the energy sector in Croatia were discussed.
DHMZ based its forecasts mostly on a probabilistic approach, as it is the global hydro meteorological trend. Final customers such as HEP Trade don’t understand this as the complete climate information on which they could build their bilateral agreements for electricity import. But since the deterministic approach is not in use anymore, they agreed to integrate probabilistic approach into energy planning whilst DHMZ agreed on giving more tangible information along with probabilistic forecasts. All participants, however, agreed on the huge importance in matching energy planning and climate information. In Croatia, DHMZ is the only authorized institution in giving climate information. HEP Trade is searching for all kind of climate information so they can plan their agreements which often mean contacting local people in searching for real weather condition. They questioned why DHMZ is not giving all hydro information for free as it is the case in Slovenia.
Who takes the risk in giving faulty forecasts was another question raised during the panel discussion. It was concluded that all involved parties are not immune on this topic but DHMZ explained that they are just offering a span of possibilities and that they cannot guarantee accuracy of information. According to them, the end customers are the one who should pay for the service and then take responsibility for decisions based on the information. In addition, HEP Trade introduced their needs from climate forecasts such as changes in level of precipitation as the major factor in hydro energy planning.
It was concluded that better information and understanding on climate data should lead to more efficient planning in hydro energy generation. Close relationships between all involved parties in the process are critical in order to have legitimate and useful climate data. The meeting was seen as a good step forward to bring the energy and climate circles closer together and this opportunity will be emphasized in the future.