Impacts of a warmer world on space cooling demand in Brazilian households

Air Conditioning (AC) appliances are a highly effective adaptation strategy to rising temperatures, thus making future climate conditions an important driver of space cooling energy demand. The main goal of this study is to assess the impacts of climate change on Cooling Degree Days computed with wet-bulb temperature (CDDwb) and household space cooling demand in Brazil. We compare the needs under three specific warming levels (SWLs) scenarios (1.5 °C, 2 °C and 4 °C) to a baseline with historically observed meteorological parameters by combining CDDwb projections with an end-use model to evaluate the energy requirements of air conditioning. The effects of the climate change were isolated, and no future expansion in AC ownership considered. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with AC energy demand are also calculated. Results show an increase in both average CDDwb and AC electricity consumption for the global warming scenarios in all Brazilian regions. The Northern region shows the highest increase in CDDwb (187% in CDDwb for SWL 4 °C), while the Southeast presents the highest AC energy consumption response (326% in the AC energy consumption for SWL 4 °C) compared to the baseline. At the national level, CDDwb and the AC energy consumption in all SWLs scenarios grow by 70%, 99% and 190%, respectively.

Link to publication

Bezerra, P., da Silva, F., Cruz, T., Mistry, M., Vasquez-Arroyo, E., Magalar, L., De Cian, E., Lucena, A.F.P., Schaeffer, R. (2021) Impacts of a warmer world on space cooling demand in Brazilian households. Energy and Buildings, 234,