Climate change and residential electricity consumption in the Yangtze River Delta, China.
Estimating the impact of climate change on energy use across the globe is essential for analysis of both mitigation and adaptation policies. Yet existing empirical estimates are concentrated in Western countries, especially the United States. We use daily data on household electricity consumption to estimate how electricity consumption would change in Shanghai in the context of climate change. For colder days <7 °C, a 1 °C increase in daily temperature reduces electricity consumption by 2.8%. On warm days >25 °C, a 1 °C increase in daily temperatures leads to a 14.5% increase in electricity consumption. As income increases, households' weather sensitivity remains the same for hotter days in the summer but increases during the winter. We use this estimated behavior in conjunction with a collection of downscaled global climate models (GCMs) to construct a relationship between future annual global mean surface temperature (GMST) changes and annual residential electricity consumption. We find that annual electricity consumption increases by 9.2% per +1 °C in annual GMST. In comparison, annual peak electricity use increases by as much as 36.1% per +1 °C in annual GMST. Although most accurate for Shanghai, our findings could be most credibly extended to the urban areas in the Yangtze River Delta, covering roughly one-fifth of China's urban population and one-fourth of the gross domestic product.
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