Staying Cool in A Warming Climate: Temperature, Electricity and Air Conditioning in Saudi Arabia is a collaboration research project of ANPERC and KAPSARC. The results have been presented at the Middle East Energy Saudi conference and at the KAPSARC. Peer-reviewed article on the topic has been published recently in the MDPI journal Climate.
Global warming is an issue of high importance for countries with already hot climate. In Saudi Arabia, average temperature has increased by 2 degrees since late 70-s. The warming rate is almost 3 times faster than the planet as a whole, and 50% faster than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere land. Moreover, summers are getting warmer faster than winters. In several locations summers became warmer by more than 3 degrees over the same period.
In addition, Saudi Arabia has the biggest share of AC in household electricity consumption in the world. Country and its increasingly growing population is very vulnerable to heat waves and extreme temperatures. We found, 1 degree of temperature increase influences the rise in power production by 2 to 4.6 % depending on the region. It is of particular consideration for policymakers and energy planning in the view of significant warming in the past decades.