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Climate – Future cool down

ORNL’s new climate change methodology helps predict energy efficiency impacts in rapidly growing areas like greater Chicago. This tool can be applied to any U.S. or global region.

August 3, 2016 – Increasing temperatures are one of several conditions scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are studying to determine how changes in climate – along with population growth and aging power plants – will affect the nation’s future energy needs. Looking at greater Chicago, a multi-laboratory team led by ORNL’s Melissa Allen developed a methodology using ORNL’s high-resolution climate and population prediction tools to investigate how certain energy generation portfolios (incorporating renewables and technology) can help meet the projected rising demand for electricity. “Results showed that in scenarios where power was created using renewables, supply margins did not achieve industry standards,” Allen said. “But when we added technology options to the mix, the margins improved by double digits.”