Utility Week

UTILITY Week 8th January 2016

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UTILITY WEEK | 8TH - 14TH JANUARY 2016 | 25 two 1,250MW PWR units – and the main building and two huge cooling towers still stand today. Largely reclaimed by nature, the site's main function these days is serv- ing as a movie set for dystopian films about an apocalyptic future such as The Hunger Games and Transformers: Age of Extinction. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, email: paul.newton@fav-house.com Pipe up Simon Harrison R ecent events in Chennai, Cumbria, Lancaster, and elsewhere have reminded us that resilience mat- ters. And also that the parameters against which we assess resilience are changing – one in 100 year flood events happening twice in a decade? It could be a coin- cidence, or more likely the changing climate means our design assumptions have become out of date. The events reminded us of the interconnectedness of infrastructure. Flooding leading to power cuts leading to mobile and broadband failure leading to failure of elec- tronic payment systems, for example. We tend to design our infrastructure in silos, and except in life-critical situ- ations give insufficient consideration to systems and the people it depends on to do its job. Sometimes technolog- ical change catches up with us – mobile phone networks did not need high resilience when most people relied on landlines, but with so many households without a lan- dline, the resilience of mobile networks becomes more important. Mott MacDonald's recent report, Climate Change and Business Survival, the Need for Innovation in Delivering Climate Resilience, highlights the global losses attributed by insurers to climate events ($140 billion a year and rising), the costs of adapting to climate change, and the need to change our thinking as the climate becomes more volatile. The increasing rate of global warming is already amplifying the effects of acute climate events that occur in seasonal or annual cycles – flash floods, heatwaves and droughts. In the next 10-20 years what we cur- rently consider to be extreme weather will become more normal. Beyond 20 years we expect to see more chronic (long-term) effects worldwide, such as changes to rain- fall impacting water quality and quantity, and changes to average temperatures affecting heating and cooling needs, marine ecology and sea level rise. In short, this is only the beginning. We need either to be investing smartly in anticipation of a much more volatile climate to come, or accepting more frequent weather-related disruptions and designing systemati- cally for rapid recovery from them. Simply document- ing that design criteria for one in 100 year events is no longer enough. We also need to look harder at dependencies. What physical and human infrastructures have to work for us to deliver our businesses? How do we mitigate against, or manage, their failure? Simon Harrison, group strategic development manager, Mott MacDonald We need to rethink what re- silience means in the light of much more frequent extreme weather events. "Global warming is amplifying the effects of acute climate events that occur in annual cycles" Operations & Assets

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