Electricity Use Could Soar as Global Middle Class Embraces Air Conditioning
Energy use in U.S. and European homes is predicted to flatten, for the most part. But it will soar in developing and middle-income countries. The main culprit, according to new research from the University of California, Berkley, is air conditioning.
In China, sales of air conditioners have nearly doubled in the last five years, with more than 60 million units sold in 2013 alone.
Using data from Mexico, researchers at UC Berkley’s Haas School of Business built a model that took into account the relation between climate, income, and air conditioning.
When accounting for increases in incomes and expected higher temperatures, they found the number of homes with air conditionings would rise from 13 percent today to more than 70 percent at the end of the century.