Climate change has the potential to impact the generation of renewable energy significantly subject to location and equipment specifications. As the penetration of renewable energy in the energy systems keeps increasing, this impact needs be systematically assessed so that investment and reliability information is accurate. Australia represents an ideal study case characterized by its frequency of extreme weather events and the recent and planned growth in the renewable energy sector. In this study, we model and quantify the long-term temperature de-rating impact of utility-scale solar photovoltaic and wind power generation over Australia. Using climate projections simulated by six Global Circulation Models and the CSIRO's Cubic Conformal Atmospheric Model, we analyze half-hourly time series of key weather variables such as temperature, surface solar irradiance, and wind speed for 1980–2060 at two sites where variable renewable generators are located, or are likely to be located in the future based on the current Integrated System Plan by the Australian Energy Market Operator. We also built power conversion models for the temperature de-rating of solar and wind power with added focus on high temperature scenarios. We found that the general temporal trends in annual solar and wind power generation due to climate change are small, being at the order of 0.1% of their average production per decade. However, for peak temperature events, which coincide with the peak power demand and, generally, high prices, the temperature de-rating impact can be much more substantial and disruptive.

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