India will, in fact, see a phenomenal growth during the period from 26.3 million installed stock of room air conditioner (RAC) units in 2016 to over 1 billion in 2050. It means its share will jump from 2.2 percent of the overall RACs globally to almost 25 percent in next three decades.
This projected jump in space cooling requirement will need 3x times more electricity by that period from the 2016 level in a world that has already seen nearly 1 degree Celsius rise in average temperatures from the pre-industrial level. And, if the world continues to carry on with the same air conditioning technology, the temperature of the planet will rise by 0.5 degree through use of cooling units alone.
Solving the Global Cooling Challenge which was released by environment minister Harsh Vardhan on the inaugural day of the Global Cooling Innovation Summit.
The report, prepared by US-based Rocky Mountain Institute, projects the rise in global energy use for space cooling from RACs from 2300 in 2016 to 7,700 Terawatt hours in 2050. This more than three-fold increase will be driven prominently by the residential sector with India projected to rise as the world’s largest energy user for space cooling in 2050.
Referring to soaring demand for RACs in India, Iain Campbell, senior fellow at Rocky Mountain Institute, said, “This exponential growth needs to be addressed in an efficient and environmentally benign way by developing technologies that reduce climate impact by at least five times than that of the RACs sold.”
Though per-capita space cooling energy consumption of India is nearly one-fourth of the global average at present, it will increase substantially by 2050 from 69 in 2016 to 1,140 kilowatt hours in 2050.
The two-day global summit is to create an ecosystem of public-private-partnership to work for breakthrough innovations in energy efficient cooling technology so that the world would require five times less energy to meet its requirement.
Keeping such demand in view, India on the occasion launched a Global Cooling Prize, an international competition to incentivize development of a residential cooling technology that will have at least five times less climate impact than the standard RAC units available now.
Over USD 3 million will be awarded in prize money over the course of the two-year competition. Up to 10 short-listed competing technologies will be awarded up to USD 200,000 each in intermediate prizes to support the design and prototype development of their innovative residential cooling technology designs. The winning technology will be awarded at least USD 1 million to support its incubation and early-stage commercialization.
“A winning technology could prevent up to 100 gig tons of CO2-equivalent emissions by 2050, and put the world on a pathway to mitigate up to 0.5 degree Celsius of warming by 2100,” said a government statement.—India Finance News