Clean Cooling – the new “Frontier Market” for UAE and the GCC region

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About

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE and the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the Heriot-Watt University organise a two days EU -GCC event on<Clean Cooling – the new “Frontier Market” for UAE and the GCC region >, on 9-10 April in the UAE. (venue – location to be provided by the ministry and confirmed soon)

Context

Two-thirds of UAE energy in the summer months is consumed by air-conditioning; at peak temperatures, this can rise to 95%. Across the Gulf, cooling represents a yearly fuel opportunity cost of roughly US$20 billion. But meeting the projected cooling demand growth in the GCC over the next 12 years is projected to cost approximately US$100 billion in new cooling capacity and over US$120 billion in new power capacity if existing pattern of technology deployment are maintained. Without intervention, reports predict Saudi Arabia could within the next decade be consuming more oil to drive air conditioning than it exports.

Cooling loads are not just buildings and electricity.  In hot climates, air conditioning in public vehicles will consume more than 40% of a bus’ fuel. This energy demand is a major challenge for electric buses. Refrigerated trailers are cooled by a secondary diesel engine (transport refrigeration unit) that can emit up to six times as much nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 29 times as much particulate matter (PM) as the propulsion unit. As with air conditioning, demand for transport refrigeration is forecast to soar. The global cold chain market alone is projected to grow to $270Bn by 2022 (currently $190Bn) with the greatest increase in demand coming from the Middle East, as well as the rapid expansion in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. In UAE, 80% of food is imported through global logistics chains.

We don’t however simply need more efficient air-conditioners and fridges or transport refrigeration units; we need new integrated, system-level approaches to cooling, understanding the size and location of the multiple thermal, waste and wrong-time energy resources available and the novel energy vectors, thermal stores and the novel, clean cooling technologies appropriate for the societal, climate, and infrastructure context.

Workshop objectives

To develop new ideas and methods to address the cooling challenges of the region,  this “clean cooling” workshop is organised with in-country partners and key stakeholders (government, industry, energy users, academia and government) from the UAE, the GCC and the EU to better understand the opportunities linked to integrated, low-carbon, low emissions cooling systems and how to accelerate their deployment.  Findings and recommendations will help shape thinking in-country as well as feed into the first ever International Clean Cooling Congress to be held at the University of Birmingham in April (18th and 19th).

The workshop intends to provide an overview of relevant best practices and technologies from the EU and the UAE/GCC.  The aim is to use the workshop as a catalyst to create dialogue and new EU GCC academic and industry collaborations to share knowledge; build capacity, underpin and galvanise novel “clean cooling” technology demonstration and advancement opportunities around the local and global challenge of sustainable cooling. In so doing, it will build on existing leadership and expertise in energy and specifically cooling across the two markets (UAE/GCC and EU) at a unique time where delivering clean, sustainable cooling is being recognised globally as key to our energy and environmental challenges.

To stimulate the discussion, experts will present novel system level thinking as well as examples of a radical novel technologies for meeting both built environment and transport cooling demands.

Our objectives from the event would include clear recommendations and next steps to

  • develop new sustainable, integrated system approaches to cooling (built environment but also the major demand of cooling in transport);
  • demonstrate and integrate emerging and existing technologies;
  • deliver solutions into the region;
  • identify and develop new technologies for local markets and global application.