The Union environment ministry announced the India Cooling Action Plan—a 20-year road map (2018 to 2038) to address the cooling requirements for all sectors such as buildings, cold chain, transport and refrigeration.
For example, the plan recommends adoption of thermal comfort standards for the operation of air conditioners and implementing thermal comfort strategies for affordable housing projects under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for economically weaker sections.
Cool roofs that absorb less heat, off-grid micro-cooling systems, and heat action plans to better deal with peak summer temperature, are among the interventions suggested.
The plan also aims to ratchet up energy efficiency of room air-conditioners, reduce cooling load of buildings by fast tracking implementation of energy buildings codes, eco-labelling of various cooling products like refrigerators and coolers among others. Space cooling for buildings consumes 60 percent of the total energy supply for cooling in India, followed by refrigeration at 29 percent.
The majority of energy consumption in space cooling is by room air-conditioners, which is why the plan makes it a focus area.
Around 8 percent of households in India have room air-conditioners, which is likely to rise to 21 percent in 2027-28, and 40 percent in 2037-38 respectively.
The plan recommends a drive for widespread adoption of 5-star (most energy efficient) labelled fans and room air conditioners in new and existing public buildings, strategies to encourage room air-conditioner manufacturers should to further develop energy efficient ACs.
Passively cooled building designs with natural and mechanical ventilation, adoption of thermal comfort standards to specify pre-setting of temperatures of air conditioning equipment, energy efficient and renewable energy based cold chain are also elaborated in the plan.―Hindustan Times