Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Future Western U.S. Building Electricity Consumption in Response to Climate and Population Drivers: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Model Structure

TitleFuture Western U.S. Building Electricity Consumption in Response to Climate and Population Drivers: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Model Structure
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalEnergy
Volume208
Pages118312
Abstract / Summary

Projections of building electricity consumption are used in multiple fields and for a variety of purposes, from energy utility investment decisions to global climate assessments. Existing approaches to modeling building electricity consumption span a range of structural methodologies, spatial resolutions, and temporal scales, potentially leading to divergent projections. This paper compares how two models with different structures and resolutions respond to a common set of population and climate drivers in the western U.S. The BEND model simulates hourly residential and commercial building electricity consumption at the county scale by weighting the results of simulations of thousands of representative buildings. In contrast, the projected electricity demand in GCAM-USA is determined for each state, year, sector (residential/commercial), and service (e.g., heating, cooling, and others), based on population, income, technology, energy prices, and average annual climate. This paper aggregates the two models’ results to a common resolution: annual residential and commercial building electricity consumption by state. Both models show similar responses to future projected population change and climate change, with population change having the larger impact between the two. Differences are primarily due to how the models capture changes in the aggregate energy efficiency of the building stock as it evolves over time.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2020.118312
DOI10.1016/j.energy.2020.118312
Funding Program: 
Journal: Energy
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 208
Pages: 118312
Publication Date: 10/2020

Projections of building electricity consumption are used in multiple fields and for a variety of purposes, from energy utility investment decisions to global climate assessments. Existing approaches to modeling building electricity consumption span a range of structural methodologies, spatial resolutions, and temporal scales, potentially leading to divergent projections. This paper compares how two models with different structures and resolutions respond to a common set of population and climate drivers in the western U.S. The BEND model simulates hourly residential and commercial building electricity consumption at the county scale by weighting the results of simulations of thousands of representative buildings. In contrast, the projected electricity demand in GCAM-USA is determined for each state, year, sector (residential/commercial), and service (e.g., heating, cooling, and others), based on population, income, technology, energy prices, and average annual climate. This paper aggregates the two models’ results to a common resolution: annual residential and commercial building electricity consumption by state. Both models show similar responses to future projected population change and climate change, with population change having the larger impact between the two. Differences are primarily due to how the models capture changes in the aggregate energy efficiency of the building stock as it evolves over time.

DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2020.118312
Citation:
Burleyson, C, G Iyer, M Hejazi, S Kim, P Kyle, J Rice, A Smith, Z Taylor, N Voisin, and Y Xie.  2020.  "Future Western U.S. Building Electricity Consumption in Response to Climate and Population Drivers: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Model Structure."  Energy 208: 118312.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2020.118312.