Our Work

Pythias | Climate Risk Analytics

Over the last two decades, extreme weather events are the leading cause of major power outage events, with over 1,185 major grid disturbances[1]. It is expected that climate change will lead to a greater number and intensity of extreme weather events and without proper planning it is anticipated grid outages will increase. The energy sector does not have the tools to assess how climate change will impact future power generation, grid performance and investment. Using historical weather data to assess climate impacts is not enough to mitigate future climate risk[2]. By not considering climate risk in energy planning and project investment scenarios, energy planning and investment will continue as usual compromising future power system reliability and resilience.

The Houston Advanced Research Center[3] is now customizing a solution that will improve the ability of governments, businesses, and communities to anticipate future climate impacts. physical climate risk analytics and scenario development software for the energy sector.

Problem: Climate risk focused planning tool allows for

  • Optimize Investment: Improved understanding of physical climate risks to improve investment and capital allocation decisions;
  • Improve Plant Operational Capacity: Optimized placement of plants and infrastructure increases operational capacity and reduces down time;
  • Grid Enhancement: Optimization of grid and infrastructure investment to improve reliability and resilience;
  • Risk Reduction: Integrates with enterprise risk management program to reduce operational, market and credit risk.

Solution: Pythias - Risk Analytics Software Tool for the Power Sector

  • Future Looking: Embeds latest climate change science in infrastructure planning models to improve modelling of physical climate to develop climate change scenarios;
  • Better Scenario Planning: Clarifies climate-conditioned future scenarios and analytics to provide new insights and support policy, planning and decision-making;
  • Comprehensive: Provides ‘models of models’ that embrace a systems-based thinking for development of the next generation models to be used by electric power utilities, investors and project developers.

Gavin Dillingham, PhD – HARC; Carlos Gamarra, P.E. – HARC; Lu Liu, PhD - Rice University; Hongyi Li, PhD - University of Houston; Xingpeng Li, PhD - University of Houston; Ethan Yang, PhD – Lehigh University

Project PI and Contact:
Gavin Dillingham, PhD, Director, Clean Energy Policy at HARC

About HARC
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that generates high-quality, reliable, and nonpartisan scientific research and analyses in three significant areas: energy, air, and water. Through our focus on sustainability and multi-disciplinary collaboration, we strive to integrate research-based evidence into the policies, response strategies, and decisions of communities, governments, and businesses.
1Source: U.S. DOE Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, Electric Disturbance Events (OE-417) Annual Summaries
2 - TCFD is a program with the Financial Stability Board (FSB)

Primary Researcher