USGCRP Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S. - Energy Supply and Use

This report is one of seven sector-specific chapters from the United States Global Change Research Program's comprehensive 2009 National Climate Assessment, "Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S."  The 'Energy Supply and Use' chapter synthesizes current and projected impacts from climate change to the energy sector in the U.S.  The chapter points out that in addition to its role as a primary cause of global warming, the energy sector will be significantly affected by the impacts of rising temperatures.

The key messages of the chapter are: warming will be accompanied by decreases in demand for heating energy and increases in demand for cooling energy, with the latter effect dominating and resulting in significant increases in electricity use and higher peak demand in most regions; energy production is likely to be constrained by rising temperatures and limited water supplies in many regions; energy production and delivery systems are at risk due to sea-level rise and extreme weather events in vulnerable regions; and that climate change is likely to affect some renewable energy sources across the nation, such as hydropower production in regions subject to changing patterns of precipitation or snowmelt.  In regards to climate adaptation, this chapter suggests that the overall scale of the national energy economy is very large, and the energy industry has both the financial and the managerial resources to be adaptive.

The report also provides region-specific analysis for Gulf Coast oil and gas production, Florida's energy infrastructure, and Alaska's oil industry. 


Publication Date: June 2009

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