Projected annual maximum temperatures in selected cities under different global warming trends
Extreme weather – a new factor in energy sector decisions?
----- Energy demand impacts-----
Comprehensive global studies covering the impact of climate change on the energy sector
are still l...
acking, though some regional and sector-specific analysis exists. The buildings
sector has been examined in more depth than most, with studies finding that temperature
increases are expected to boost demand for air conditioning, while fuel consumption for
space heating will be reduced. The effects in the transport sector (such as higher use of air
conditioners) and in the industry sector (changed heating and air conditioning needs) are
expected to be on a smaller scale (Wilbanks, et al., 2007). In agriculture, a warmer climate
is likely to increase demand for irrigation resulting in a higher energy demand for water
Around one-quarter of global final energy consumption is in the residential sector_ nearly
2 100 Mtoe in 2010 _ with space heating accounting for around 30% of this and space
cooling making up around 3%. At present, countries in cold climates, such as Canada and
Russia, have high heating demand (heating degree days (HDD) of 4 000 or above), but
a comparably low demand for space cooling (cooling degree days (CDD) below 300).2
Countries in hot climates, such as India, Indonesia and those in Africa, have virtually no
demand for space heating, but high cooling needs (CDD above 3 000). Other regions are
situated in a more temperate climate or extend over different climate zones, such as the
European Union and the Middle East where, for example, Iran has around 1 000 CDDs per
year, while Saudi Arabia has more than 3 000 CDDs.
Urban areas, home to more than half the world's population, are at the forefront of the
challenge of climate change. Annual maximum temperatures in cites increase much
faster than the global average, fostered by the urban heat island effect. For example, an
average global warming of 4.6 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 (as in the IPCC's
RCP 8.5 Scenario) is projected to result in maximum summer temperatures in New York
increasing by 8.2 °C (Figure 3.2) (Hempel, et al., 2013). In such a case, the extreme summer
experienced in Moscow in 2010 may be closer to the norm experienced in 2100, while the
European summer of 2003 could be cooler than the average by that time. In a case where
the average global warming is 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 (as in the IPCC's
RCP 2.6 Scenario), the maximum summer temperature in New york is projected to increase
by only 1.6 °C.
For this report, we have extended our World Energy Model to allow for the impact of
climate change on the projections for heating and cooling energy demand in the residential
sector.3 Given the relatively long mescales over which climate impacts occur, the time
horizon for this purpose is from 2010 to 2050, though it is recognised that the largest
impacts will be felt after this date: our New Policies Scenario is consistent with an average
global temperature increase of around 2 °C by 2050 (3 °C by 2100 and 3.6 °C by 2200),
compared with pre-industrial levels. In addition to changes in average energy demand for
heating and cooling, climate change may also increase peak-load demand for cooling.