Webinar: Stimulating innovation towards high-efficiency cooling solutions

Stock of air conditioning units just in Southeast Asia in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2010-2040 (Credits: EIA)

Population growth, urbanization, and rising income levels, compounded by a warming planet, are driving an unprecedented growth in demand for comfort cooling; from 1.2 billion Residential/ Room Air Conditioners (RACs) in the world today, to a projected 4.5 billion by 2050. RACs alone could add about 132 GT of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions cumulatively between now and 2050, resulting in over 0.5°C of global warming by the year 2100. Whilst access to cooling provides benefits to human health, well-being and productivity and is increasingly viewed as a societal need it comes at an environmental cost that we simply cannot afford.

It is clear that the world needs a breakthrough cooling technology, one that meets the world’s booming demand for cooling without contributing to runaway climate change. To deliver this, a global coalition launched the Global Cooling Prize — an innovation competition to spur development of a radically more energy-efficient, climate-friendly, and affordable cooling solution. The Prize was initiated by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI); Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India; and Mission Innovation.

The Prize has attracted innovators from around the world to design a residential cooling solution that will have at least 5X less climate impact and no more than 2X the cost than today’s standard AC units being sold in the market. The winning solution will also need to operate within predefined limitations on refrigerants, water, full-load power consumption, emissions, volumetric size, materials, and operational requirements.

The Global Cooling Prize was launched in 2018, on November 2019 the Prize awarded eight Finalist teams USD 200,000 each in order to develop and deliver two working prototypes that will be subject to three different testing protocols in India through the summer of 2020 in order to determine the ultimate winner(s).

Now IEA is organising a webinar series on energy efficient cooling. The webinar on January, 30th, 2020 – 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM CET – will provide insights into the context and background for the Global Cooling Prize, the market failure in this sector, the circumstances under which a prize can be an effective change model, the prize process and current state, an overview of selected technologies, the testing phase of the prize, the path to future impact and key lessons learned along the way.

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.