Research

Impacts of Climate Change on Canada’s Electricity System

January, 2022

Summary

Canada’s electricity system is expected to be impacted as temperatures increase with climate change due to increases in demand for space cooling, decreases in demand for space heating, and a change in the frequency and intensity of peak electricity demand. This study uses seven general circulation models and two representative concentration pathways to project temperature change across Canada under fourteen potential climate change scenarios. Navius’ energy-economy model (gTech) and electricity model (IESD) are then used to project heating and cooling demand, peak load, and electricity expenditure by region across Canada under each scenario. Results of this analysis were used in the Canadian Climate Institute’s report Under Water: The Costs of Climate Change for Canada’s Infrastructure.

Highlights:

  • Overall electricity demand for space heating and cooling is expected to increase by 0.4 – 4.2% across Canada by 2100 as a result of climate change due to increased demand for space cooling.
  • Peak electricity demand is generally expected to increase in the summer as temperatures increase due to increased demand for cooling, while it is expected to decrease in the winter due to reduced demand for heating, compared to a scenario in which no climate change occurs.
  • Total expenditure on the electricity system is expected to decrease in the medium term (2050) under climate change due to reductions in demand for electricity for heating, and is expected to increase in the long term (2100) due to increases in demand for cooling.

Click above to download our technical report.

Click above to visit the Canadian Climate Institute’s webpage & download the final report.

Download our technical report or visit the Canadian Climate Institute’s report webpage.

This study was commissioned and funded by the Canadian Climate Institute.

To learn more about this research, please contact Brianne Riehl.

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