Energy enables human systems to meet a range of energy services that are essential for building resilience to climate risk. This is why we can also talk of energy use for adaptation. The key objective of ENERGYA is threefold
- disentangle the role of climate drivers from that of other socio-economic, policy, technological, attitudinal factors,
- understand they influence energy use for adaptation across sectors and countries,
- project scenarios for the future.
We will study the historical behavior of 44 different countries across four different continents, Europe, Asia, America, Australia, shown on the map, and project how energy for adaptation in those countries could unfold in the future. We will focus on four emerging economies where the rise of energy demand for adaptation is expected to soar: Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Mexico.
Most homes in Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia do not have air conditioning, a key example of how energy is used for adaptation. Increase in affluence, urbanization, and population are all key drivers of energy demand. These four countries are among the most populous with almost 2 billion of people altogether. They host 10 of the 25 largest and hottest metropolitan areas in the world , and per capita income, energy demand and urbanization have been growing at much higher rates compared to OECD or European countries.
At the same time, these four countries have a very good availability of statistics and surveys that offer unexploited opportunities for broadening our knowledge regarding the role of climate and weather fluctuations as potential, additional, drivers of energy demand in emerging economies. ENERGYA will adopt a country perspective, as focusing on metropolitan areas would neglect dynamics such as urbanization as well as structural changes across economic sectors.
Perhaps surprisingly, also for Europe and OECD countries we still do not know much about energy for adaptation, as most of the evidence we have is based on the United States. Even studies with a global coverage build upon empirical facts observed in the United States.
Perhaps this is not surprising considering that in Europe per capita average annual energy consumption for space cooling in buildings is less than 400kWh, almost one fifth of United States per capita usages, which amount to 1880 kWh per capita.
One of the objectives of ENERGYA is to characterize the heterogeneous response of energy services and fuel demand that can be used for adaptation across different countries, and provide new empirical evidence beyond what we already know for the Unites States.