Current projections of the climate-sensitive portion of residential electricity demand are based on estimating the temperature response of the mean of the demand distribution. In this work, we show that there is significant asymmetry in the summer-time temperature response of electricity demand in the state of California, with high-intensity demand demonstrating a greater sensitivity to temperature increases. The greater climate sensitivity of high-intensity demand is found not only in the observed data, but also in the projections in the near future (2021–2040) and far future periods (2081–2099), and across all (three) utility service regions in California. We illustrate that disregarding the asymmetrical climate sensitivity of demand can lead to underestimating high-intensity demand in a given period by 37–43%. Moreover, the discrepancy in the projected increase in the climate-sensitive portion of demand based on the 50th versus 90th" role="presentation">th quantile estimates could range from 18 to 40% over the next 20 years.


This is the published version of Kumar, R., Rachunok, B., Maia-Silva, D. et al. Asymmetrical response of California electricity demand to summer-time temperature variation. Sci Rep 10, 10904 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67695-y

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