Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Electricity Consumption in Europe Will Shift Under Climate Change

Maintenance workers view air conditioning pipes, Hospital Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain, 23/03/2015. (Credit: age fotostock / Alamy Stock Photo) Click to Enlarge.
Rising temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions will fundamentally change electricity consumption patterns in Europe.  A team of scientists from Germany and the United States now analyzed what unchecked future warming means for Europe's electricity demand: daily peak loads in Southern Europe will likely increase and overall consumption will shift from Northern Europe to the South.  Further, the majority of countries will see a shift of  temperature-driven annual peak demand from winter to summer by the end of this century. This would put additional strain on European power grids, the study now published in the renowned US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests.

"It is fascinating to see how the response of electricity consumption to temperature changes is similar across European countries' peak and total electricity use seem to be smallest on days with a maximum temperature of about 22°C (72°F), and increases when this daily maximum temperature either rises or falls," lead author Leonie Wenz from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) explains.  "We use this common characteristic as a basis for estimating future electricity consumption under climate change - that is beyond the current temperature range.  That way, those European countries that are already experiencing very hot temperatures today serve as examples for the future of cooler countries. It turns out that electricity demand in Europe will shift from countries like Sweden or Norway to countries like Portugal or Spain.  Concurrently, the annual peak load will shift from winter to summer in most countries."

Read more at Electricity Consumption in Europe Will Shift Under Climate Change

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