Melissa R Allen, Steven J Fernandez, Joshua S Fu and Kimberly A Walker
Managing the risks to reliable delivery of energy to vulnerable populations posed by local effects of climate change on energy production and delivery is a challenge for communities worldwide. Climate effects such as sea level rise, increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, force populations to move locations. These moves result in changing geographic patterns of demand for infrastructure services. Thus, infrastructures will evolve to accommodate new load centers while some parts of the network are underused, and these changes will create emerging vulnerabilities. Forecasting the location of these vulnerabilities by combining climate predictions and agent based population movement models shows promise for defining these future population distributions and changes in coastal infrastructure configurations. In this work, we created a prototype agent based population distribution model and developed a methodology to establish utility functions that provide insight about new infrastructure vulnerabilities that might result from these new electric power topologies. Combining climate and weather data, engineering algorithms and social theory, we use the new Department of Energy (DOE) Connected Infrastructure Dynamics Models (CIDM) to examine electricity demand response to increased temperatures, population relocation in response to extreme cyclonic events, consequent net population changes and new regional patterns in electricity demand. This work suggests that the importance of established evacuation routes that move large populations repeatedly through convergence points as an indicator may be under recognized.