Warming-induced increase in power demand and CO2 emissions in Qatar and the Middle East

Gurriaran, Léna and Tanaka, Katsumasa and Bayram, I. Safak and Proestos, Yiannis and Lelieveld, Jos and Ciais, Philippe (2023) Warming-induced increase in power demand and CO2 emissions in Qatar and the Middle East. Journal of Cleaner Production, 382. 135359. ISSN 0959-6526 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.135359)

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Rising global temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula region caused by climate change have increased the demand for air conditioning, resulting in more electricity consumption and CO2 emissions. This paper treats Qatar as a representative country for understanding the effect of future regional warming on the electricity demand and CO2 emissions We first develop a model that relates daily electricity demand with temperature. By combining this model with temperature projections from the CMIP6 database (bias adjusted and statistically downscaled) and population and GDP projections from four shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), we can calculate Qatar’s demand for electricity until the end of the century. The model identifies an average sensitivity of +4.2%/°C for the electricity demand and projects an increase in electricity demand by 5 to 35% due to warming alone at the end of this century. The model suggests that under SSP1-2.6, warming-induced CO2 emissions could be offset by carbon intensity improvements. Furthermore, under SSP5-8.5, assuming no carbon intensity improvement, future warming could add 20 to 35% of CO2 emissions per year by the end of the century, with half of the electricity demand related to more frequent hot days. We further found that the temperature effect on power demand and CO2 emissions is small compared to the effects from socioeconomic factors such as population, GDP, and carbon intensity.