Table of contents

3.5.2. Total energy demand for heating and cooling

Heating and cooling in residential buildings and businesses (excluding process heat in industry) use about one third of the EU’s final energy (EC, 2016e). This part of the energy balance is directly sensitive to the changes in HDDs and CDDs presented in the previous subsection. The actual energy demand for heating and cooling depends also on a variety of socio-economic and technological factors, such as living space per person, building insolation, and availability and type of heating and cooling systems (Auffhammer and Mansur, 2014; Buceti, 2015). Heating and cooling demand is also influenced by relative humidity. Relative humidity over Europe has decreased by 1-2 % since 1980 on average, but with significant regional and seasonal variation (Copernicus Climate Change Service, 2018). The impacts of humidity changes on heating and cooling demand have not been considered in available studies.

comments (7)

Model simulations in the ClimateCost project (based on the SRES A1B emissions scenario) estimated a decrease in EU residential heating energy demand due to climate change of 28 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe)/year by 2050 and 65 Mtoe/year by 2100 and an increase in cooling energy demand of 16 Mtoe/year by 2050 and 53 Mtoe/year by 2100. In cold countries, the net effect of projected temperature increases reduces total energy demand, whereas in warm countries, it increases energy demand (Mima and Criqui, 2015). These qualitative findings were confirmed in more recent studies (Damm et al., 2017; Wenz et al., 2017). All studies projected that increases or decreases in countries’ total energy or electricity demand as a result of climate change by the mid-century are below 5 %, and usually much smaller. The limited size of the effect suggests that no particular adaptation actions is necessary (but see below for peak demand).

comments (3)