In this paper, we attempt to quantify the impact of climate change on future electricity demand in Israel, based on CORDEX-AFRICA high-resolution climate simulations made under two Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios (hereinafter: RCP 4.5 and 8.5), and further downscaled by the Israeli Meteorological Service (hereinafter: IMS) with regard to location of Israeli meteorological stations. We provide first estimates of this impact by comparing load forecasts based on RCP 4.5 and 8.5 with their counterparts based on historically observed temperatures, properly bootstrapped under an assumption of no warming trend. We employ two methodological approaches: the first is based on dose-response functions and allows us to estimate the relationship between daily peak loads and daily maximum temperatures in a form comparable across countries. This provides evidence of a higher sensitivity of Israeli peak loads to rising temperatures compared to hot areas in other developed countries, such as Texas or the Australian states. The second approach employs an hourly-load econometric model for Israel. With the present sensitivity level, we predict an increment of 2.5%/4.1% in Israeli summer daily peak loads toward 2050, and 5.3%/11.6% by the end of century under RCP 4.5/8.5 relative to the baseline scenario, which does not assume global warming. According to the hourly model, the expected effect on summer daily peak loads is more significant than on average daily loads. For winter months, we predict a negative effect on daily peak loads, gradually reaching 3.0%/5.0% by the end of century under RCP 4.5/8.5. We also show that future annual maximum loads are likely to come from the summer months. Using temperature simulations downscaled by different IMS stations, we evaluate regional patterns of climate change impact and map spacial effects relative to the country mean.

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