Climate Change and Electricity Demand in California



California Energy Commission and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory




The potential effect of climate change on California’s electric power system is an issue of growing interest and importance to the state’s policy makers. Climate change-induced temperature increases may exacerbate existing stresses on this system. Detailed recent data are used to estimate the relationships between temperature and both electricity consumption and peak demand at a sample of locations around California. These results are combined with new projections of regional climate change affecting California obtained by statistically downscaling recent global projections generated by two general circulation models, to yield estimates of potential impacts of future temperature changes on electricity consumption and peak demand, and illustrative economic cost estimates in several cases. Both current and prospective coping strategies, and priorities for further research, are summarized. This report is a supplemental report to the main PIER-funded report that is an attachment to the Climate Action Team Report to the Governor and Legislature. This is a state-funded research study sponsored by the California Energy Commission.

Climate Impact Tags


Resource Type Tags

Scientific study


Extent: California


Last updated: Jan. 25, 2021