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Green Cooling Solutions in India by 2040

  • 02 Dec 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: Green Cooling Solutions in India by 2040, World Bank, ICAP, Green House Gas, PMAY, Thermal Comfort.

For Mains: Green Cooling Strategies for Sustainable Development.

Why in News?

According to the report ‘Climate Investment Opportunities in India's Cooling Sector’ released by the World Bank Group, investment opportunities in India’s cooling sector through less carbon-intensive technologies could add up to USD 1.6 trillion.

What are the Highlights of the Report?

  • The report analyzed the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) launched in 2019 and came up with suggestions for prioritizing the government’s investment opportunities in the cooling sector.
  • The report does not focus on air conditioning because only 40% of Indians will have air conditioning by 2040 — which is currently around 8% — and the rest for whom passive cooling technologies have to be the focus.
  • Investment opportunities across three different sectors — construction, cold chains and refrigerants — have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly and also create nearly 3.7 million jobs.
  • Around 34 million people in the country might lose their jobs because of heat stress and subsequent decline in productivity.
  • The world is already on a path where there would be many more intense heat waves like the one India witnessed in 2022
  • Heat stress is set to increase drastically in a world on its way to a two-three degree rise in temperatures.

What are the Recommendations?

  • Sustainable Space Cooling:
    • Sustainable space cooling solutions may reduce annual GHG emissions by 213 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2040.
    • This can be achieved by increasing the efficiency of cooling technologies — air conditioners, ceiling fans and chillers — which can save 30% energy by 2037-38.
  • Passive Cooling Strategies:
    • Passive cooling strategies for buildings in cities can reduce energy usage by 20-30% by 2038.
    • A drop in the temperature of a building by one degree Celsius could lower peak electricity demand for cooling by two-four per cent.
  • Thermal Comfort:
    • Government should include a thermal comfort programme in its affordable housing Programme, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
    • Thermal comfort through passive cooling technologies in these households could benefit over 11 million urban households and 29 million households in rural areas that the government wants to construct.
    • This would also ensure that the people most affected by rising temperatures are not disproportionately affected.
  • District Cooling Systems (DCS):
    • DCS are centralized cooling techniques for clusters of buildings instead of individual buildings, which is much more efficient.
    • District cooling should be made mandatory for real estate complexes that are of high density.
    • DCS generates chilled water in a central plant which can then be distributed to multiple buildings via underground insulated pipes.
  • Cold Chain and Refrigeration:
    • It is suggested to use concessional finance from Multilateral Development Banks like the World Bank for investments in strategies to plug the gaps in the cold chain distribution networks.
    • Such investments can help reduce food loss by about 76% and decrease carbon emissions by 16%.

What is ICAP?

  • It seeks to recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under the National S&T Programme.
  • It is part of India’s national strategy for cooling, whose objective is to reduce country-wide demand for cooling by 25 % by 2037-2038.
  • It also seeks to reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.
  • Training and certification of 1,00,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, in synergy with Skill India Mission.
  • It also makes provision for cooling for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low-Income Group (LIG) housing.
  • In line with Montreal Protocol, the plan emphasizes cutting those elements that deplete the ozone layer.
  • Its goal is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society.

Source: DTE

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