Future global electricity demand load curves

The rapidly increasing electricity demand and the expected increase in the contribution of variable renewable energy sources raise the need for looking at the characteristics of long-term demand variations. Furthermore, demand changes (e.g., the increasing penetration of electric vehicles) could affect the shape of future load curves. However, integrated assessment models often assume a constant load shape. In this research, the shape of future electricity demand load curves is determined with a global scope for long-term exploratory scenarios analysis within integrated assessment models.

This was done by using empirical data on daily demand patterns of different end-uses and aggregating them with end-use annual electricity demand data from the IMAGE model.

The regional hourly aggregated patterns modelled vary over the years by projected variation of temperature and contribution variations of the different sectors to total electricity demand.

Results under the shared socioeconomic pathway two show that future load curves depict low changes over time and a large sensitivity to load variations from electric vehicle daily charging patterns.


PBL Authors
Harmen Sytze de Boer David Gernaat Detlef van Vuuren
Other authors
Victhalia Zapata Castillo
Raúl Maícas Muñoz
René Benders


Publication title
Future global electricity demand load curves
Publication date
7 August 2022
Publication type
Publication language
Volume 258, 1 November 2022, 124741
Product number