Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name

Quantitative Economics


Economics and Planning Unit (EPU-Delhi)


Somanathan, E. (EPU-Delhi; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

This dissertation consists of three chapters. The Örst chapter studies the impact of climate change on electricity demand in Delhi using daily data on electricity demand and apparent temperature for the period 2000-09. It estimates a semi-parametric variable coe¢ - cient model that allows for a non-linear relationship between temperature and electricity to shift over time, a feature that is necessary to incorporate given the rapid economic growth in India. As evident from previous studies, electricity demand is a U-shaped function of temperature. Three results from our analysis have important implications for electricityclimate policy: Firstly, the rising part of the temperature-electricity curve is becoming more pronounced over time implying an increase in cooling demand per unit increase in summer temperatures. A 10C increase in temperature at 30 0C increased the electricity demand by over 3 MkWh in 2009 as compared to only over 1 MkWh in 2000. On the other hand, a 10C increase in temperature at 15 0C decreased the electricity demand by only 0.8 MkWh in 2009 as compared to 0.7 MkWh in 2000. Secondly, the increasing temperature dependenceof the cooling demand shifts the temperature-electricity curve of Delhi leftwards. In particular, the minimum temperature threshold (TT) shifts from about 20-22 0C in the Örst half (2000-05) to about 18.5-20.5 0C in the second half (2006-09) of the period. Thirdly, while higher temperatures would increase electricity demand in all seasons except winters, the maximum impact is likely to be felt in the hot month of April, with average apparent temperatures of 30 0C, followed by October and May. Thus, the results suggest that the adverse e§ects of climate change on electricity demand to be asymmetrically distributed in di§erent seasons in the future, resulting in a serious disequilibrium in the hot months.The second chapter extends the analysis to all-India level, enabling the use of the large climatic and income variation across states to assess the dependence of the temperature-electricity demand relation on the level of income and climate. This chapter aims to understand how Indiaís electricity demand will be a§ected by changes in its climate, weather and income. To what extent does the weather sensitivity of electricity demand depend on climate and the level of income? Due to growth, the impact of climate change in India will be time-varying. The climate sensitivity of electricity demand in India is likely to be highly sensitive to growth in income. Thus, both intensive and extensive adjustments in cooling and heating will play an important role in determining future climate change impacts on electricity demand. This chapter utilizes a national level panel dataset of 28 Indian states for the period 2005-2009 to show that (1) electricity demand is positively related to temperatures in summers and negatively related to temperatures in winters; (2) the e§ect of temperature increase on demand in summers is higher in a hotter climate as people adapt with the use of higher cooling equipment whereas there is a higher negativeresponse to temperature increase in winters in colder climates as people adapt using higher heating equipment; (3) the e§ects of both the hotter and the colder climates on electricity demand are expected to be more pronounced at the higher income levels.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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