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Project: T163700 #33/108A

Climate change imposes increasing threats to national and regional power networks, particularly to overhead transmission lines. In a changing climate, the frequency and severity of extreme weather events as well as the mean state of the atmosphere will change; this affects overhead lines, as they are typically designed to take the current or historic climate into account. There is therefore a strong need to quantify the relevant changes in the climate and any the associated uncertainties as well as to identify the climate’s impacts on the overhead transmission line network on a regional scale.

The main objective of this work is to prepare a state of the art report with recommendations for utilities, designers and operators of overhead lines on how climate change impacts can be taken into account for improved and more reliable design requirements for the electrical transmission grid. Within the scope of the project, a comprehensive review of the available and relevant information is performed. This includes a review of the available scientific literature pertaining to current as well as projected global and regional climate change, as well as identifying features which are or will be relevant for the long-term design and reliability of overhead lines. Information on industry standards, practices and approaches to climate change adaption, as well as information on failures due to climatic impacts, was collected and presented to serve as examples on potential strategies. Recommendations are given on how to best take changes in the climate into account for overhead line design and the planning of adaptation strategies.


Climate change, climatic impacts, overhead lines, electricity distribution network, design loads, extreme weather, adaptation.