Estimation of European Union residential sector space cooling potential


Mindaugas Jakubcionis and Johan Carlsson


  • An estimation of EU space cooling demand potential in residential sector is presented.
  • An estimate of space cooling demand potential is based on using USA data as a proxy.
  • Significant cooling demand increase can be expected.
  • Cooling demand increase would lead to increased stress in energy supply systems.
  • Proper policies and strategies might measurably decrease the impact on energy systems.


Data on European residential space cooling demands are scarce and often of poor quality. This can be concluded from a review of the Comprehensive Assessments on the energy efficiency potential in the heating and cooling sector performed by European Union Member States under Art. 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. This article estimates the potential space cooling demands in the residential sector of the EU and the resulting impact on electricity generation and supply systems using the United States as a proxy. A georeferenced approach was used to establish the potential residential space cooling demand in NUTS-3 regions of EU. The total potential space cooling demand of the EU was estimated to be 292 TW h for the residential sector in an average year. The additional electrical capacity needed was estimated to 79 GW. With proper energy system development strategies, e.g. matching capacity of solar PV with cooling demand, or introduction of district cooling, the stresses on electricity system from increasing cooling demand can be mitigated. The estimated potential of space cooling demand, identified in this paper for all EU Members States, could be used while preparing the next iteration of EU MS Comprehensive Assessments or other energy related studies.

The open access to this study is funded by the Joint Research Center via sciencedirect.

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