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The Energy Economics Of Global Cooling Are Heating Up

The Energy Economics Of Global Cooling Are Heating Up thumbnail

A huge economic boom is coming, in an industry you probably haven’t heard of: cooling.

The cooling industry provides air conditioning for houses and commercial buildings, refrigerators in homes and grocery stores, and a “cold chain” to transport and deliver everything from food to vaccines around the world.

As more people move to cities and incomes rise in tropical regions around the world, researchers estimate the amount of electricity needed to meet their rising demand for cooling could be ten times higher by 2050 than today. Cooling will be a major growth opportunity for companies that can simultaneously replace the polluting chemicals used in cooling today and produce more efficient, affordable cooling equipment.

Three Reasons For Global Cooling’s Economic Boom

Three trends are heating up the economics of global cooling, with big implications for the international energy and climate agenda, and many manufacturers and national policy-makers are taking note.

First, policymakers in tropical regions around the globe are starting to plan for the cooling boom by finding ways to keep total energy used for cooling to a minimum, and then planning to ensure sufficient energy resources are available to meet the staggering (potential) growth. It’s hard to understate the importance of this planning: simply improving the efficiency of room air conditioners 30% by 2030 could reduce peak electricity demand by the same amount of electricity produced by more than 1,500 power plants, saving consumers hundreds of billions of dollars and improving public health by reducing pollution.

Second, the most successful global environmental treaty in history—the Montreal Protocol, which eliminated the chemicals that made the ozone hole—will be used to replace climate-warming chemicals used in cooling equipment. More than 20 countries ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, ensuring it will enter into force at the beginning of 2019.  This international agreement will spur a complete re-make of the global cooling industry as manufacturers re-tool their lines to produce cooling equipment that does not use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

These chemicals will need to be replaced with alternatives that protect the ozone layer while minimizing their impact on the climate, and smart manufacturers of cooling equipment are already planning to use this moment to drastically increase the energy efficiency of their products.

Closing ceremony and adoption of the Kigali Amendment via Rwanda Environment Management Authority

Third, cooling equipment investors and manufacturers are looking for opportunities to gain a competitive advantage ahead of the boom in cooling demand. As the cooling sector’s importance grows, smart companies are coming to the table with policymakers to help them understand the market and plan for growth.

China Dominates Today’s Global Market, But Opportunities Abound For Strong Companies

The vast majority of the world’s air conditioners (and their internal components) are manufactured in China, with Gree, Haier, and Midea dominating the Chinese market.  70% of all room air conditioners and 85% of all units that combine heating, air conditioning and fans come from China.  China is huge exporter of these products, but also uses 40% of the world’s air conditioners right at home to serve the domestic market. Still, China’s domestic share of global air conditioning demand will likely decrease as income continues rising in tropical regions around the world.  The companies that get ahead on alternative refrigerants and efficiency will win a greater share of the domestic and export markets.

Air conditioners on a residential building via Wikimedia Commons

Although China has the lion’s share of global manufacturing today, U.S. companies (like Honeywell and Chemours, which are leading the push for U.S. ratification of the Kigali Amendment) dominate the market for next-generation coolants that would replace HFCs.  Carrier, another American manufacturer, introduced the most efficient air conditioner on the market last month.  This means that a rapid transition away from HFCs under the Kigali Amendment is good for U.S. jobs, businesses, and exports.

Tepid U.S. Action On Clean Cooling Risks Ceding Global Economic Growth

Despite potential economic benefits to America and widespread support from U.S. companies, the Trump administration has been somewhat tepid on the Kigali Amendment and cooling efficiency.  If the U.S. took a more proactive role in supporting the Kigali Amendment and more efficient cooling, it would reduce the risk of America ceding this economic opportunity to international competitors. While it is unclear whether Chinese or American companies will win the race to produce efficient cooling equipment that uses no HFCs—strong competitors also exist in Japan and Korea –  it is clear a huge boom in demand for cooling is coming around the world.

This boom will create vast opportunities for manufacturers from many different countries with a big advantage for early movers. Strong national efficiency standards for cooling equipment would benefit both American and Chinese manufacturers, as strong companies benefit from strong standards—and American and Chinese companies are some of the strongest in this industry. The next few years are critical for setting the DNA of global cooling ahead of the coming explosive growth.  Manufacturers that can replace HFCs at the same time as they make cooling more efficient will be the ones to win the market share.

By Sonia Aggarwal, Energy Innovation’s Vice President and Director of America’s Power Plan.


33 Comments on "The Energy Economics Of Global Cooling Are Heating Up"

  1. dave thompson on Fri, 9th Mar 2018 12:02 pm 

    Any word on powering our cooling by burning old sofas and tires?

  2. Dredd on Fri, 9th Mar 2018 1:30 pm 

    Meanwhile, the lawsuits against Oil-Qaeda are heating up (Oilfluenza, Affluenza, and Disgorgement – 3).

    They won’t cool til we get the fools.

  3. Anonymouse1 on Fri, 9th Mar 2018 11:08 pm 

    Ironically, A/C units themselves actually increase the amount of heat in the environment. ACU’s generate substantial amounts of waste heat as a by-product of their normal operations. An ACU has to operate non-stop to keep a space cool. Turn an AC off on a hot day, and it benefits rapidly dissipate. So, the colder you try to make a space, the more waste heat is generated. Or, you can invest in larger and more power ACU’s which generate even more waste heat. I regard ACUs much the way I regard oil burning cars. In small numbers and widely dispersed, they can be comparatively harmless. Once you start increasing their numbers and density, they start to create compounding problems. Cities in hot regions already have problems coping with demand from ACU’s during the summers.

    Yet another side-effect of ever increasing population and urbanization. When everyone ‘wants'(has to) to drive everywhere for anything, and everyone wants to stay nice and cool when its hot, whether they are sitting at home, or sitting in a traffic jam in there GM oil-burning trash can, the result is the same. Car drivers tnd to love their ACs as well. In-efficient heat engines generating constant waste heat.

    Good for ACU manufactures though….

  4. JH Wyoming on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:41 am 

    We retired our old heat pump, replacing it with a Mitsubishi quad mini split system. One exterior unit, powering 4 interior cooling units in different rooms in the house. We are saving an average of 115 bucks a month in heating/cooling over our old system. Will pay for itself in 7.25 years and is designed to last decades. Also the AC removes moisture in the air via gravity down tubes. The coolness in Summer is like being in a well designed big commercial building. The louvers can be angled using the remote control.

    10 year warranty! Nothing like it.

  5. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 6:02 am 

    We are renovating an old house on the farm and I put in a quad mini split. My solar system is 48v and will run 220VAC so on a very hot sunny day I can run one of the units that is in the basement. The basement is already cool so this will be our place in the worst of the summer. The unit also heats so I can use it instead of the wood boiler in those transition periods where I just need to take the nip off the morning. The one drawback was the initial cost but the longer term benefits to my application should more than make up for it. This new house is on/off grid. I foam insulated the house with a max r value. I have multiple high R value rated windows and the house is on a hill for good breeze when the weather is nice.

  6. Sissyfuss on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 9:20 am 

    When the Arctic and permafrost melts, you will need an air conditioned space suit to avoid the wet bulb temps. But that should improve the overpopulation problem.

  7. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 9:40 am 

    “We are renovating an old house on the farm and I put in a quad mini split.”

    So does that mean when ‘the offspring’ come for a visit, they’ll no longer have to stay in the barn? Or do you plan on building them a coop or something closer to the ‘old house’?

  8. MASTERMIND on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 10:12 am 

    Ain’t no closing time ain’t no cover charge, just country boys and girls gettin down on Davy’s farm!

  9. Anonymouse1 on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 11:40 am 

    Is this the same fantasy farm that socks, I mean, soaks, up all your time? Rumor has it that farms are rather time-intensive investments, leaving their principle operators little time for luxuries like posting incoherent, rambling diatribes on obscure comment boards on a nearly 24/7/365 basis. Unless this ‘farm’, is a dandelion farm whose principle output consists of weeds, then I suppose you might get away with that.

    Q: will your renovations include an outhouse, and are planning on including a door with that?

  10. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 11:51 am 

    What a wounded ego. Greggie, my kids love their life here. They tell their teachers how they can’t wait to come to the farm. The RV they are staying in is in a barn next to my cabin. It is kind of like camping for them. Of course you are always talking about how you go out in the woods as the big hunter. I think you probably are afraid of the woods. You might get wet or something. My kids have a very nice home they are living in with their mom I purchased for them. I imagine my kids would put yours to shame. Just look at you and we know what your kids are made of.

  11. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 11:53 am 

    The weasel is another wounded ego. These stupid Canadians can’t stand getting their asses kicked. Weasel, I doubt you will ever have a wife and kids. What kind of woman would want to be with a dork that talks and acts like you? Your closest chance at a relationship will be your 5 fingers.

  12. Anonymouse1 on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:21 pm 

    Oh, I forgot to ask, who is this ‘we’ you refer to in your latest diatribe exceptionlist? Were you planning on asking boatietard, or, your BFF, clogghraham to help out? The goats you torment on a regular basis do not constitute a ‘we’, no matter how much you may imagine. You might want to amend that we’, to an ‘I’.

    That aside, all the best renovating that outhouse.

  13. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:32 pm 

    “I imagine my kids would put yours to shame.”

    My kids are your girlfriend’s age Davy. and when they come to visit, we still let them stay in the house with us. Like normal people do.

    “I think you probably are afraid of the woods. You might get wet or something.”

    We have this really neat invention. It’s called rain gear. Next time you’re at Walmart, you should check it out. There’s no need to get wet in this day and age Davy.

  14. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:40 pm 

    “Your closest chance at a relationship will be your 5 fingers.”

    All the people that I’ve ever seen have 8 fingers Davy, and what do 5 fingers have to do with relationships?

    You people from the Ozarks have some very bizarre mannerisms.

  15. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:47 pm 

    Come to think of it, you wouldn’t happen to live anywhere near where they made that Burt Reynolds movie?

    That would certainly help to explain things.

  16. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:54 pm 

    Greg, if you are referring to yourself as normal then you better pinch yourself. You like talking about ass fucking and fighting when you get drunk and when you are normal you claim Hitler was a victim. I imagine your kids are warped like you. Are they gun freaks too? They are probably respectable looking on the outside but really nasty on the inside just like the tree they fell from.

  17. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:57 pm 

    Weasel, have you ever had your ass kicked? You talk like a cocky wimp, you know, they type that acts smart but ends up just being smartass. I bet if you haven’t had a good asskicken it is coming. You are a perfect candidate for an education.

  18. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 12:59 pm 

    It takes 2 stupid Canadians to mess with one American. Maybe that is why you ignorant Canadians are so anti-American. We constantly make you guys look pathetic.

  19. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 2:16 pm 

    “I imagine your kids are warped like you.”

    My children are around the same age as your girlfriend Davy, and you would be my age. Your offspring are young enough to be your great grandchildren.

    Does that not sound a little bit warped to you?

  20. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 2:45 pm 

    Greggie, when your kids were growing up did you get drunk and beat on them. Do your kids know you like ass fucking guys? I think if your kids knew the real greggie they would feel warped if they are not already warped just from being the product of your loins. Are you in therepy because your wife demanded it? I bet she was not happy to know you are a bisexual cheater. Greggie, what does it feel like to be a cheater? Does that little uptight BC community you are in know your closet secretes? Nazis were know to be into gay sex. It fits together a closet Nazi who likes ass fucking.

  21. Cloggie on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 3:34 pm 

    Closing ceremony and adoption of the Kigali Amendment via Rwanda Environment Management Authority

    These people in the picture look quite… um… cool. Nevertheless I’m somewhat puzzled by their teint. Rwanda you said?

  22. Cloggie on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 3:53 pm 

    Glad to live in a climate where these noise boxes are not necessary, although there are in Holland employers who opine that employees can’t handle 25 centigrades, forcing you to work in what feels like a fridge.

    One of the (many) things I dislike about tropical vacations is exactly the rattling noise during the night as well as the sound of air flow.

  23. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 4:19 pm 

    More of your usual delusional accusations Davy.

    Slip sliding away…..

  24. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 5:01 pm 

    Greggie, see what happens when you stalk and prick the wrong person. Maybe you like getting bitched slapped. Maybe that is why you stalk and prick me and that is because you want to be bitch slapped. Start following the advice of your therapist and
    leave these forums. Your mental health is not stable enough to be here.

  25. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 5:40 pm 

    More delusions Davy.

    The longer you keep living in your little fantasy world, the more difficult it becomes to regain your sanity.

    You’re walking a fine line there buddy.

  26. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 5:45 pm 

    Ain’t your buddy, prick. Go online and find you a buddy.

  27. Anonymouse1 on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 5:54 pm 

    I was pretty sure you had bottomed out exceptionalist, when you went full clogghraham, I mean full Godwin on everyone.

    But, no, somehow, you’ve managed to drop the bar even lower than that, lol.

    What a nutcase….

  28. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 6:16 pm 

    It just dawned on me, all of Davy’s references to bitch slapping, neutering, etc., and his incessant use of derogatory remarks surrounding human genitalia, are likely the result of the strain on his manhood from his “relationship”. After all, everybody knows that Italian women always wear the pants in a family.

  29. Anonymouse1 on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 6:25 pm 

    It never been established that the exceptiolist has an Italian anything. Well, maybe hes had Italian dressing. If they even eat salad in his little corner of backwoods uSa that is.

  30. Davy on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 6:36 pm 

    Here you go greggie, just hitch up with the weasel. You two can have extremist pillow talk after you two do each other. You probably like young perverts.

  31. GregT on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 8:00 pm 

    Thanks Davy, but I’m happily married to a woman that I actually live with.

    Imagine that.

  32. DerHundistLos on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 9:24 pm 

    Anonymouse 1

    Your humor is classic!!!!! I always look for your posts first.

  33. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 10th Mar 2018 11:43 pm 

    Yo Dave T., I’m baaack.
    So here’s the status update on the first
    ST2E plant (Sofa’s and Tires to Energy).

    After securing the Phase 1 round of funding
    from the Trump Administration,
    we assembled the necessary amounts
    of fuel and secured the property perimeter.
    Ignition has already occurred and all systems
    appear fully operational and energy output
    is as expected.

    Here is the link:

    However we’ll need some more old tires
    and old sofas because we used up quite a few
    so far.

    This is the renewable energy of the future.
    None of that stupid liberal windmills and
    solar panels and yogurt farms.

    No need to sing ‘Kumbaya My Lord’ when
    it’s a tire fire.

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