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Stretching the Duck: How Rising Temperatures will Change the Level and Shape of Future Electricity Consumption

Abstract:
This paper examines how rising temperatures due to climate change will affect electricity consumption patterns through mid- and end-century. We extend recent literature in two important ways. First, we directly incorporate adaptation in the form of increased air conditioner penetration, resulting in heightened responsiveness to hot temperatures. Second, we go beyond average effects to consider how higher temperatures will change the intraday and seasonal shape of consumption. This is found to be of greater importance in colder countries, where the average effect is dampened by reductions in heating demand from warmer winters. Seasonal peaks are projected to shift from winter to summer and the diurnal range of hourly consumption expands, exacerbating an increasing need for flexibility coming from the supply side due to a growing share of renewable energy.

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Keywords: Climate change, Electricity demand, Air conditioning, Adaptation

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.5.nriv

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Published in Volume 41, Number 5 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.

 

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