The industry body for Australia’s electricity grid says the sector must adapt to a changing climate. 

A new report from Energy Networks Australia (ENA) consolidates the latest scientific information on climate change and how it impacts the electricity grid.

ENA chief Andrew Dillon says a changing environment presents big challenges.

“Australia has warmed by about 1.4 °C since 1910 – rainfall patterns are changing and extreme events, such as the recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales, are becoming more frequent and intense in many places,” he said.

“These heatwaves, bushfires, storms and floods often seriously damage network infrastructure resulting in more and longer outages to customers and increased disaster recovery costs.

“Networks are acutely aware of the need to ensure the grid is resilient in the face of these challenges and customers want sensible investment to ensure they can manage through and recover from natural disaster events.

“For example, in Victoria, the number of days with very high fire danger rating in spring is increasing across the state. Under the projections outlined in the report, by 2050 there are likely to be 40 per cent more very high fire danger days.

“In Queensland, tropical cyclones are projected to become less frequent, but the intensity is projected to increase leading to more flash flooding and damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure.”

The lobby says its report is designed for the entire energy sector including executives, board members, operational staff, investors, market bodies, regulators and governments.

The report is accessible here.