The APPLICATE project releases its first case study that contributes to understanding the linkages between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. The document is mainly addressed to policy makers, although it can also be of interest for big energy associations (e.g., EWEA, IRENA, AREA) and global networks of Transmission System Operators (e.g., ENTSO-E), among others. This work has been the result of a joint effort between climate scientists, social scientists and science communication specialists taking part in the consortium and has counted with the collaboration of partners from the European H2020 project Sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions for energy (S2S4E).
The case study describes a cold spell in winter 2016-17 that some energy producers, interviewed in S2S4E, identified as a relevant event affecting their businesses. The cold spell was accompanied by record-breaking low precipitation and wind speed over parts of western Europe, increasing energy demand and reducing renewable power generation, which contributed to an energy-security risk situation in France. In this first case study, the APPLICATE project explores potential linkages of the event highlighted by energy producers with Arctic changes in sea ice. Once these linkages are well-established and understood, future forecasts of extremely low sea ice extent (that also relate with forecasts of electricity demand and power generation) could be potentially valuable for assessing the risk for European energy systems.