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Modeling global residential sector energy demand for heating and air conditioning in the context of climate change


  • Isaac, Morna
  • van Vuuren, Detlef P.


In this article, we assess the potential development of energy use for future residential heating and air conditioning in the context of climate change. In a reference scenario, global energy demand for heating is projected to increase until 2030 and then stabilize. In contrast, energy demand for air conditioning is projected to increase rapidly over the whole 2000-2100 period, mostly driven by income growth. The associated CO2 emissions for both heating and cooling increase from 0.8 Gt C in 2000 to 2.2 Gt C in 2100, i.e. about 12% of total CO2 emissions from energy use (the strongest increase occurs in Asia). The net effect of climate change on global energy use and emissions is relatively small as decreases in heating are compensated for by increases in cooling. However, impacts on heating and cooling individually are considerable in this scenario, with heating energy demand decreased by 34% worldwide by 2100 as a result of climate change, and air-conditioning energy demand increased by 72%. At the regional scale considerable impacts can be seen, particularly in South Asia, where energy demand for residential air conditioning could increase by around 50% due to climate change, compared with the situation without climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaac, Morna & van Vuuren, Detlef P., 2009. "Modeling global residential sector energy demand for heating and air conditioning in the context of climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 507-521, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:2:p:507-521

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mahlia, T. M. I. & Masjuki, H. H. & Saidur, R. & Amalina, M. A., 2004. "Viewpoint: Mitigation of emissions through energy efficiency standards for room air conditioners in Malaysia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(16), pages 1783-1787, November.
    2. Kadian, Rashmi & Dahiya, R.P. & Garg, H.P., 2007. "Energy-related emissions and mitigation opportunities from the household sector in Delhi," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6195-6211, December.
    3. Sailor, D.J & Pavlova, A.A, 2003. "Air conditioning market saturation and long-term response of residential cooling energy demand to climate change," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 941-951.
    4. Keikkala, Gudrun & Kask, Andrey & Dahl, Jan & Malyshev, Vladimir & Kotomkin, Viktor, 2007. "Estimation of the potential for reduced greenhouse gas emission in North-East Russia: A comparison of energy use in mining, mineral processing and residential heating in Kiruna and Kirovsk-Apatity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1452-1463, March.
    5. Sailor, David J, 2001. "Relating residential and commercial sector electricity loads to climate—evaluating state level sensitivities and vulnerabilities," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 645-657.
    6. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
    7. Seyboth, Kristin & Beurskens, Luuk & Langniss, Ole & Sims, Ralph E.H., 2008. "Recognising the potential for renewable energy heating and cooling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2460-2463, July.
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