National Infrastructure Assessment | Study
The UK can expect to see an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events as a result of climate change.
The government has legislated for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050: achieving this would limit the UK’s contribution, but it will not reverse climate change.
Climate change, and the extreme weather events it brings, will have wide ranging impacts on how we live our lives. Moving to a highly renewable electricity system is a key pillar of the National Infrastructure Commission’s position on energy policy.
One of the aims of energy policy must be to ensure that the security of the electricity generation system is maintained and it remains resilient to short term and long term weather shocks.
Since 2019, the Commission has partnered with the Met Office and the Committee on Climate Change on a project to review the current scientific understanding of extreme weather and climate related risks to the UK’s electricity generating system as it becomes increasingly reliant on renewables generation.
This page brings together below all the reports and data generated by this project.
Short duration events - dataset (March 2022)
This report presents the background to the development of the latest dataset in this project: short-duration adverse weather scenarios, characterising so-called wind ramping events in the UK.
Short duration events - characterisation (December 2021)
The Met Office has taken a similar approach to previous work by first characterising short duration adverse weather events and then producing datasets. This report (phase 3a of the project) summarises the approach taken to characterising events and includes a sensitivity analysis conducted to test the validity of the results obtained.
Long duration events - datasets (June 2021)
These datasets (phase 2b of the project) present the development of this dataset of long-duration adverse weather scenarios. They characterise winter-time and summer-time wind-drought-peak-demand events, and summertime surplus generation events, in the UK and in Europe.
The datasets add value by increasing confidence that the modelling used to inform policy and investment decisions is resilient to a range of plausible extreme weather scenarios. They capture projections for plausible weather based on both historical information and future scenarios that account for climate change.
Characterisation - including an addendum for surplus generation events (December 2020)
This report covers the phase of the Met Office research completed in October 2020, with an addendum added in the final report to summarise an addition to the work, which was completed in January 2021.
Discovery phase (June 2020)
This report summarises the findings of the discovery phase of that project. The aim of the discovery phase was to investigate the feasibility of producing a widely usable extreme weather data set for energy system modelling.
Literature review (June 2019)
This first phase of the project provided an in-depth exploration of studies relevant for understanding weather and climate related sensitivities and risks associated with a highly renewable UK energy system.
The review benefitted from the depth of relevant knowledge available across the Met Office, and insights drew from discussions with scientists directly involved in a number of the key studies.
National Infrastructure Assessment
An assessment of the United Kingdom's infrastructure needs to 2050 and beyond.