Currently, thermal power is the largest source of power in the world. Although the impacts of climate change on cooling water sufficiency in thermal power plants have been extensively assessed globally and regionally, their economic consequences have seldom been evaluated. In this study, the Asia-Pacific Integrated Model Computable General Equilibrium model (AIM/CGE) was used to evaluate the economic consequences of projected future cooling water insufficiency on a global basis, which was simulated using the H08 global hydrological model. This approach enabled us to investigate how the physical impacts of climate change on thermal power generation influence economic activities in regions and industrial sectors. To account for the uncertainty of climate change projections, five global climate models and two representative concentration pathways (RCPs 2.6 and 8.5) were used. The ensemble-mean results showed that the global gross domestic product (GDP) loss in 2070–2095 due to cooling water insufficiency in the thermal power sector was −0.21% (−0.12%) in RCP8.5 (RCP2.6). Among the five regions, the largest GDP loss of −0.57% (−0.27%) was observed in the Middle East and Africa. Medium-scale losses of −0.18% (−0.12%) and −0.14% (−0.12%) were found in OECD90 (the member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development as of 1990) and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, respectively. The smallest losses of −0.05% (−0.06%) and −0.09% (−0.08%) were found in Latin America and Asia, respectively. The economic impact of cooling water insufficiency was non-negligible and should be considered as one of the threats induced by climate change.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited