Projecting the long-term trends in energy demand is an increasingly complex endeavor due to the uncertain emerging changes in factors such as climate and policy. The existing energy-economy paradigms used to characterize the long-term trends in the energy sector do not adequately account for climate variability and change. In this paper, we propose a multi-paradigm framework for estimating the climate sensitivity of end-use energy demand that can easily be integrated with the existing energy-economy models. To illustrate the applicability of our proposed framework, we used the energy demand and climate data in the state of Indiana to train a Bayesian predictive model. We then leveraged the end-use demand trends as well as downscaled future climate scenarios to generate probabilistic estimates of the future end-use demand for space cooling, space heating and water heating, at the individual household and building level, in the residential and commercial sectors. Our results indicated that the residential load is much more sensitive to climate variability and change than the commercial load. Moreover, since the largest fraction of the residential energy demand in Indiana is attributed to heating, future warming scenarios could lead to reduced end-use demand due to lower space heating and water heating needs. In the commercial sector, the overall energy demand is expected to increase under the future warming scenarios. This is because the increased cooling load during hotter summer months will likely outpace the reduced heating load during the more temperate winter months.
Date of this Version
Nateghi, R., & Mukherjee, S. (2017). A multi-paradigm framework to assess the impacts of climate change on end-use energy demand. PloS one, 12(11), e0188033. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188033