Climate, extreme heat, and electricity demand in California Page: 3 of 30
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heat days are suggested for other locations across the U.S. southwest, as well as for
developing nations with rapidly increasing electricity demands. Electricity response
to recent extreme heat events, such as the July 2006 heat wave in California,
suggests that peak electricity demand will challenge current supply, as well as future
planned supply capacities when population and income growth are taken into
Since 1980, U.S. electricity demand has increased by more than 75 percent, with
the largest increases in the residential and commercial sectors for space heating and
cooling. As the southwestern U.S. becomes more populated, and extreme heat days
become more frequent, electricity demand will continue to rise. A 2005 Government
Accounting Office report (GAO 2005) on meeting energy demand in the 21st century
states that the U.S. accounts for 5 percent of the world's population, yet consumes 25
percent of the annual energy used worldwide. The GAO report concludes that due to
the consumer choices of high consumption, all major fuel sources face
environmental, economic, or other constraints or trade-offs in meeting projected
demand. Clear and consistent policy is therefore needed to guide energy markets,
suppliers, and consumers. The nation's energy infrastructure, its refinery capacity,
and electricity line transmission system have not adequately kept up with peak
demand, and electricity supply shortfalls have resulted. Electricity generation and
transmission deregulation have compounded these problems, as remote transmission
and energy gaming have pushed electricity flow up to and beyond the capacity limit,
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Miller, N.L.; Hayhoe, K.; Jin, J. & Auffhammer, M. Climate, extreme heat, and electricity demand in California, article, April 1, 2008; Berkeley, California. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901337/m1/3/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.