The vitality, timing, and magnitude of hydropower production is driven by streamflow, which is determined by climate variables, in particular precipitation and temperature. Accordingly, changes in climate characteristics can cause alterations in hydropower production potential. This delineates a critical energy security concern, especially in places such as Canada, where recent changes in climate are substantial and hydropower production is important for both domestic use and exportation. Current Canadian assessments, however, are limited as they mainly focus on a small number of power plants across the country. In addition, they implement scenario-led top-down impact assessments that are subject to large uncertainties in climate, hydrological, and energy models. To avoid these limitations, we propose a bottom-up impact assessment based on the historical information on climatic trends and causal links between climate variables and hydropower production across political jurisdictions. Using this framework, we estimate expected monthly gain/loss in regional hydropower production potential under the continuation of historical climate trends. Our findings show that Canada’s production potential is expected to increase, although the net gain/loss is subject to significant variations across different regions. Our results suggest increasing potential in Yukon, Ontario, and Quebec but decreasing production in the North Western Territories and Nunavut, British Columbia, and Alberta.
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