Impact du changement climatique sur la consommation énergétique de la ville de New York (en anglais)

Dans une étude récente, une équipe de chercheurs a établi une projection de la demande en électricité pour refroidir les bâtiments à l'échelle de la ville de New York à la fin de ce siècle.

In a recent study1 published in Environmental Research Letters, Luis Ortiz and his colleagues established a projection of the building cooling electric demand at the end of the century, at the scale of New York City.

According to the data collected by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) in its 2017 annual report, summer air conditioning accounts for 9% of annual energy consumption in the city, but it also represents the main driver of annual peak electricity demand. Since various forecasts predict that summers will be getting hotter throughout the century, NYISO expects peak demand to increase in the next decades.

The authors of the study used a Weather Reasearch and Forecasting (WRF) model combined with a building energy model (BEM) to predict the cooling electric demand between 2095 and 2099. They based their study on two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) elaborated by the IPCC. The RCPs are a greenhouse gas concentration trajectory adopted by the IPCC since 2014. In the study, the researchers used RCP 4.5 (a scenario in which radiative forcing is stabilized at 4.5 Wm-2 in 2100), and RCP 8.5 (where radiative forcing would stabilize at 8.5 Wm-2 in 2100). RCP4.5 provides for an increase in temperature between 1.1 and 2.6°C, and RCP8.5 between 2.6 and 4.8°C. The study considers the hottest months of the year (from May 1 to August 31).

  • In the first scenario (RCP4.5), cooling demand increases ranged between 1 to 20% across all days, with largest increases on days below 50th percentile demand (that is the median demand).
  • In the RCP8.5 scenario, it could be up to 80% higher than the 2006-2010 period.

Maximum summer cooling demand for the entire city is projected to increase between 5% and 27% for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively. Largest increases being observed in days below the 50th percentile of cooling demand in both scenarios, it suggests a decrease of cool summer days.

1 ORTIZ L., GONZALEZ J. E., LIN W. Climate change impacts on peak building cooling energy demand in a coastal megacity. Environmental Research Letters. 2018, vol. 13, n.9, 10p. Available in Fridoc following this link. (fiche 25253)