Predicting the Response of Electricity Load to Climate Change

Stuart Cohen, Patrick Sullivan

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Our purpose is to develop a methodology to quantify the impact of climate change on electric loads in the United States. We perform simple linear regression, assisted by geospatial smoothing, on paired temperature and load time-series to estimate the heating- and cooling-induced sensitivity to temperature across 300 transmission zones and 16 seasonal and diurnal time periods. The estimated load sensitivities can be coupled with climate scenarios to quantify the potential impact of climate change on load, with a primary application being long-term electricity scenarios. The method allows regional and seasonal differences in climate and load response to be reflected in the electricity scenarios. While the immediate product of this analysis was designed to mesh with the spatial and temporal resolution of a specific electricity model to enable climate change scenarios and analysis with that model, we also propose that the process could be applied for other models and purposes.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-64297


  • climate change
  • electricity
  • load
  • ReEDS
  • temperature


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