EU-CIRCLE Case Study: Climate Change Impacts on Critical Infrastructure of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region

The EU-CIRCLE methodology and Critical Infrastructure Resilience Platform (CIRP) were tested and validated through a case study which assessed the impacts of heat waves and forest fires on the electric and road transport networks of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region (south east of France).  CEREN and ARTELIA developed the case study scenario in collaboration with the critical infrastructure operators: RTE (electric transportation network operator), ENEDIS (electric distribution network operator) and ESCOTA (highway network operator).

As part of the case study, climate analyses, including future climate change projections relating to temperature, rainfall, and indicators such as the Fire Weather Index and Vegetation Drought Code were prepared by the EU-CIRCLE consortium.

Future temperatures forecasts for the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region in EU-CIRCLE CIRP

A stakeholder workshop was organised in December 2017 with the CI operators in which the climate analyses were presented and the impacts of the projected climate change scenarios on their infrastructure were discussed.    


Visualisation of the CI networks in the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur Region in EU-CIRCLE CIRP

The CI operators at the workshop do not explicitly consider climate change. The use of CIRP which allowed them to visualise the projected changes of climate variables over their network however, allowed them to gain a better understanding of the potential impacts and can be a useful addition to their future planning development analysis.

The risk analyses conducted through CIRP were directly aligned to their daily concerns as network operators. The Fire Weather indices were considered relevant and useful for refining and updating the operators’ fire prevention plans over coming decades. The CIRP tool can be used to perform additional analyses by changing threshold parameters, with the damages part of the tool useful in supporting discussions on future investments to CI. The CIRP results under different climate change scenarios such as the number of clients not served; CI interdependencies and the loss of revenue were discussed in detail.

Transmission tower physical damage

Estimated Number and Replacement Cost of wooden pylons Analysis

It was clear for the operators that the CIRP tool would be useful to the public authorities in charge of territorial planning and that EU-CIRCLE should target them in the future. Public authorities need to be aware about climate change impacts not only on critical infrastructure but on their territory as a whole.

A resilience assessment was conducted as part of the workshop using the Resilience Assessment tool developed in EU-CIRCLE.

Resilience Assessment

The Resilience Assessment Tool allowed CI operators to visualise the impact of climate hazards in 2040 on their infrastructures and how these affect their resilience capacities. The consequences of climate change to the resilience of their assets and networks can aid decision-makers in their future investments and allow them to prioritise adaptation options.

The case-study was the first application of the EU-CIRCLE methodology with CI operators and successfully demonstrated CIRP’s potential in the management of climate change risks. The case study additionally collected feedback from CI operators which will aid in the further development of the EU-CIRCLE approach and tool.