Climate change impacts on trends and extremes in future heating and cooling demands over Europe

M.A.D. Larsen* (Corresponding Author), S. Petrović, A.M. Radoszynski, R. McKenna, O. Balyk

*Corresponding author for this work

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The paper analyses effects of changes in temperatures on heating and cooling demands in Europe until 2050. Specifically, the study addresses changes in trends (10-year mean) and extremes (10-year min/max). The analysis is based on two GHG emission climate scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP4.5) and eight high-resolution regional climate models and results are provided as relative and absolute changes on grid and country scales. Population density is used as proxy for spatial distribution of demands. Projected future temperatures are proportional with RCP scenario and distance into the future and the highest relative changes occur towards north-eastern Europe and for high-altitude areas. The temperature changes lead to general decreased heating demands and corresponding increased cooling demands. In general, higher spreads are seen between demand change ratios for individual models when addressing extremes as opposed to trends: The general 2010–2050 change ratios for heating between countries are 0.85–95 for model means and average 0.69 for the extreme analysis. For cooling, corresponding ratios are 1.25–1.5 for model means and average 2.76 for model maxima. For absolute demand changes, some countries are projected to experience significant changes e.g. exceeding a doubling in cooling demands. The results are suggested as a basis for energy system analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110397
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

The work was supported by the REEEM project (grant agreement no. 691739) funded by the Horizon 2020 (LCE) EU research programme.


  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Buildings
  • Climate Change
  • Energy System Analysis
  • Climate-Energy Nexus


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