• Focus Area Models, Data and Tools Models, Data and Tools
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 15 January 2018


Weather can have a profound effect on energy consumption particularly with respect to hot and cold temperatures, driving residential and commercial energy demand. The cooling and heating degree day methodology has been often been regarded as a reliable means to account for this effect for purposes of normalization and econometric analysis. However, when applied within the context of international cross-country comparison, this methodology suffers from two majors limitations: the lack of an appropriate international database that encompasses degree days at a functional spatial and temporal aggregation using various reference temperatures, and second, the existing methodologies only account for the effect of temperature and ignore the potential effect of other climatic factors such as humidity and solar radiation. This paper addresses these issues by presenting a new database of population-weighted degree days for 147 countries for 1948–2013 at various reference temperatures based on multiple thermal comfort indices. The database was mainly developed to compare the influence of weather on energy use across countries. This is important for policy because it defines the playing field for potential intervention to improve energy efficiency and productivity. It also puts countries on equal footing when it comes to participating in international energy and environmental negotiations. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd




Tarek Atalla

Tarek Atalla

Former Research Associate

Silvio Gualdi

Silvio Gualdi

Alessandro Lanza

Alessandro Lanza

Visiting Researcher Alessandro is a visiting researcher and a professor of energy and environmental policy at LUISS University. He has held the… Alessandro is a visiting researcher and a professor of energy and environmental policy at LUISS University. He has held the positions of deputy head of the Energy and Environment Division of the IEA/OECD, Eni’s chief economist and executive director of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, and chief executive officer of Eni Corporate University. Alessandro's career has also included working as a researcher at the IEFE and the Joint Research Centre of the European Union at ISPRA, and as a research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He had the distinction of being lead author for the IPCC Third Assessment Report when IPCC was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize, and for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. More recently Alessandro has been serving on the board of directors of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.

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