IEA New Report: The Future of Cooling Opportunities for energy-efficient air conditioning

“Growing demand for air conditioners is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate. Setting higher efficiency standards for cooling is one of the easiest steps governments can take to reduce the need for new power plants, cut emissions and reduce costs at the same time.”
Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA

Cooling down is catching on. As incomes rise and populations grow, especially in the world’s hotter regions, the use of air conditioners is becoming increasingly common. In fact, the use of air conditioners and electric fans already accounts for about a fifth of the total electricity in buildings around the world – or 10% of all global electricity consumption. Over the next three decades, the use of ACs is set to soar, becoming one of the top drivers of global electricity demand. A new analysis by the International Energy Agency shows how new standards can help the world avoid facing such a “cold crunch” by helping improve efficiency while also staying cool. (…)

Access the full report and all the findings here.

You can also directly download the report here.

EPEE continues to participate in global effort to promote sustainable heating and cooling solutions in daily lives

EPEE, the voice of the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry in Europe had the chance to participate earlier this month in the “Sustainable Energy For All” (SE4ALL) Forum in Lisbon, speaking at a dedicated “Cooling for all” panel discussion. It was an important opportunity for EPEE to demonstrate the key role the industry is playing in day to day lives within our current society, which relies heavily on cooling and refrigeration. But this session also highlighted the huge responsibility lying with our sector, to provide sustainable solutions given the expected market growth in the coming decades, particularly in developing countries. Next to “cooling for all”, the Forum also emphasized the increased urgency for providing clean energy and clean cooking solutions around the world.

Fortunately, the HVACR industry is fully committed to provide sustainable cooling and refrigeration solutions and bringing clean and energy efficient solutions to urban and rural areas of developing countries in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Technologies are readily available to be deployed, helping to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the short, medium and long term. These include for example highly energy efficient equipment, reducing energy demand right from the start, as well as technologies using renewable energies such as heat pumps, and also, often overlooked albeit very effective, continuous monitoring, service and maintenance. More broadly speaking, smart equipment can make a huge contribution to reducing energy demand, for example by helping consumers deal with the fluctuating influx of renewable energies. In parallel, thinking “thermally” rather than only focusing on generation of refrigeration by using electricity, can also be a way to provide sustainable cooling solutions.

On top of these energy efficiency-based solutions, the HVACR industry has also made a strong commitment in the framework of the Kigali amendment, to phase-down the consumption of HFCs on a global level by around 80% in the coming decades. The Amendment introduced under the Montreal Protocol will enter into force as of 1st January 2019 and has already been ratified by more than 30 countries. In the EU, the F-Gas Regulation has already been in place since 2015, also introducing an HFC phase-down of around 80% by 2030. Efforts to reduce HFC consumption on a worldwide level will, according to UN Environment, prevent a rise in global temperature of up to 0.5°C by 2100, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.

To help developing countries address the challenges of the Kigali Amendment, EPEE has also partnered with UN Environment and has developed “HFC Outlook”, a dedicated software to model and anticipate HFC phase-down scenarios in conjunction with the phase-out of HCFCs. After a very successful pilot project developed together with the governments of Kuwait and Bahrain, seven more countries have joined the second phase of the pilot to use “HFC Outlook” in their context. The new pilot kicked-off in Paris with a workshop at the beginning of May, and showed once again the commitment and dedication of the HVACR industry to provide concrete, tangible solutions to provide sustainable cooling for present and future generations.

Sustainable Cooling for Europe (World Café)

coolingEU stakeholders invite you to join them for their World Café at EUSEW on June 6 from 09:30 to 12:30 at Fundación Galicia Europa (Rue de la Loi, 38) to discuss what role cooling plays for all of us in the various sectors and how to move forward.

Registration is now open until Monday, June 4 here:

Bring your ideas and perspectives!


Electricity has driven the digital era, and heat has been essential to prepare food, to warm us in winter and to run and develop our industries. But all these processes that our modern societies and economies are built on also owe a lot to another decisive service: cooling.

Without cooling food and medical equipment would not be preserved. Without cooling the climate in our offices, homes and vehicles would often be unbearable. Without cooling many materials would not be as strong or flexible to serve our needs. Without cooling our data centres and servers would not process our endless information chains…

Cooling is indispensable in our modern society and economy – and of course we want it to be clean and sustainable. Therefore, the coolingEU stakeholders invite you to join us for our World Café at EUSEW to discuss what role cooling plays for all of us in the various sectors and how to move forward.


A World Café is a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue and sharing knowledge. The environment is set up like a café, with paper-covered tables supplied with refreshments. Participants will sit to a table and hold a series of conversational rounds lasting 25 minutes each about a series of questions related to the impact of cooling in our society. At the end of each round, participants will shift tables.


Introduction and welcome by Ingo Wagner, coolingEU
Opening remarks and key note on the crucial role of cooling, to be confirmed
Cooling round tables on the societal benefits of cooling in:
a) working and living
b) supplying food
c) Europe’s industry
d) the digital future
Summary and closing remarks by Julia Panzer, Danfoss Cool.
Academic closure by Judith Evans, South Bank University.

Do not hesitate and book a seat now! Places are limited!

A Cool World: 1st International Congress on Clean Cooling

On April 18 and 19, the University of Birmingham brought together over 100 cooling and energy efficiency decision-makers and experts to discuss the urgent topic of how to meet our global demand for cooling sustainability and build cooperation to find ways to provide access to affordable and sustainable cooling solutions for all.

The world’s first ‘clean cold’ conference was opened with a double keynote addressed by Sir David Kind, Chair of the Regional Energy Policy Commission and former Special Representative for Climate Change UK and Pawanexh Kohli, Chief advisor and CEO for the National Centre for Cold-chain Development in India.

Congress attendees, had also the opportunity to listen to the opening remarks of Ian Crosby, Head of Cooling For All, an initiative created by Sustainable Energy for All and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme.

Clean Cooling has the potential to advance three internationally agreed goals simultaneously: the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Developmental Goals and the Montreal protocol’s Kigali Amendment. Therefore, and as stated during this pioneering congress, clean cooling has the potential to address effectively poverty, reduce food loss, improve citizens general well-being, raise energy efficiency, manage our national resources and support sustainable cities and communities while fighting climate change.

Professor Toby Peters, chairman of the coolingEU Academic Mirror Group and one of the ambassadors and minds behind the organization of the event, together with Professor Martin Freer, underlined that ‘The growth of artificial cooling is already having a major environmental impact; left unchecked it could be responsible for more than 13% of total global emissions by 2030. This is an urgent crisis. We need to work together to progress how we provide sustainable affordable cooling services to all. Not just technologies but also new business models, policy, skills, capacity building and training which will be required.’


The different topics covered during the congress englobed all the key matters that affect cooling supply and accessibility. Urbanization, accessibility in developed countries, food and cold chains and thermal storage were some of the most discussed subjects.

IW2On the matter of urbanization, 77 million people per year are moving to urban areas, specially in developed regions. This presents and extra challenge to supply cities with clean, sustainable and affordable cooling. On this matter, Ingo Wagner, coordinator of coolingEU hosted a plenary discussion together with Professor Graeme Maiment from London South Bank University and Guillermo Martinez from the company Araner to identify, among others technologies, the value that district cooling brings as an integral energy infrastructure to reduce strain on the electric grid caused by increasing demand while ensuring reliability and safety. Effective cooling supply is key to sustainable urbanization and promotes economic growth at the local level.

Another key topic during the congress was the food chain. Pawanexh Kohli, chief executive at the National Centre for Cold-chain Development in India underlined during her intervention that ‘“Feeding the planet is not just the business of farmers. Refrigerated logistics is critical to managing our food resources, expanding market frontiers and reducing food loss (…) At the same time we also need to reduce the impact of our logistics on our environment, and that requires international collaboration. We need innovation today, to develop the sustainable cold chain of tomorrow.” On the matter of the benefits of the cold chain, Rosa Rolle from UNFAO, emphasized that the cold chain is an important driver to enable rural transformation in developed countries: ‘The cold chain not only increases food security by preserving the food and reducing waste but it also presents economic benefits for entrepreneurs while increasing the income of local producers’’

This Congress has been the first of its kind and after its successful first edition, it is to be expected that it will become a regular congress to define and accelerate to market solutions to deliver clean cooling from a multitude of different perspectives.

Three hints to make climate-friendly cooling possible today

Photo credit:

Disclaimer: This article was written by Jürgen Fischer, President of Danfoss Cooling.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views and positions of the coolingEU forum. 

It is estimated that 10% of all CO2 emissions are caused by cooling.[1] Let that sink in for a moment. Our need for temperature control has a significant impact on our planet’s well-being and, with a growing population and increased urbanization, this effect can only be expected to rise. The good news is that the existent technologies and applicable solutions can make cooling a central part of the solution to reduce CO2 emissions, rather than one of the greatest contributors to global warming. To make this happen, we need to re-think cooling in the energy system and use cooling infrastructures, like supermarkets, as energy facilitators.

The United Nations expects the global population to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. As the number of people on our planet increases so does the need for cooling. To avoid a vicious cycle where refrigerators and air conditioning contribute to global warming, in turn creating the need for more cooling, we need to think outside the box and make cooling more climate-friendly and sustainable.

Unlocking the full potential of renewables

Currently, the world is investing in renewables at an incredible rate. In 2017, for example, China announced that they would invest $360 billion in renewable energy by 2020[2]. A recent report by the German Think Tank Agora Energiewende showed that, in the same year, electricity generated from renewables in Europe has for the first time surpassed energy generated from coal[3]. While these are important first steps to satisfy the Paris Agreement, the full potential of renewables has not yet been reached. We still need better storage solutions to allow harnessing energy that is produced during off-peak hours, e.g. at night-time when the energy produced by windmills is higher than its demand. We also need advanced storage solutions to help provide energy when renewable solutions are not available, such as on days when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

So, what can we do?

Innovative storage solutions are the best way to even out irregular energy periods. They help to make the entire energy system much more flexible and reliable. The good news is that the technology needed to implement these kinds of storage systems is already available today and cooling plays a key role here. Existing buildings can provide thermal storage –  in the form of ice or excess capacity from heating or cooling systems – and create exciting opportunities to promote flexible energy systems.


Supermarkets as sustainable energy facilitators

Your local supermarket is one of the best examples of how energy storage can provide the required flexibility for renewables to become a reliable solution. This is achievable through thermal storage.

Imagine that we connect ice storage or cold tower facilities to supermarkets. This would enable the storage of energy in the form of ice or cold water during low consumption hours. During peak hours, when the electricity system is under pressure and prices are higher, stored energy can be released to cool refrigerators and freezers to fit the high demand.

But that is only the beginning. More and better solutions are needed, and the industry is ready to help lead the way. We recently built a partnership that will help supermarkets become the premiere sustainable energy centres of their community.


Danfoss and SMA are planning a joint venture that will connect supermarkets to the energy system through an integrated solution that combines refrigeration technology, photovoltaics, energy storage technology, and e-mobility. This unique fusion of innovative technologies will allow supermarkets to be prosumers, and send their excess heat back into the energy system.

An example of this solution in practice is the process of recovering excess heat – a byproduct of the refrigeration process – to heat the supermarket. If the supermarket is connected to a district heating network, which is a trend increasingly popular in developed countries, the excess heat can be piped into other buildings in the neighbourhood, drastically lowering energy costs and reducing the overall carbon footprint.

Energy efficiency is still key

While supermarkets and buildings, if connected, can become prosumers by producing energy over solar panels and provide flexibility to the energy system through thermal storage, it is still essential to keep energy efficiency in mind. By making buildings more energy efficient, we reduce energy demand and extend the benefits gained from using renewables— after all, they are not for free either. The International Energy Agency estimates that 38% of the required CO2 emission reduction needed until 2050 should come from energy-efficient technologies. Therefore, if supermarkets are to become essential energy reuse and storage centres in communities around the world, they should also leverage the newest technologies in order to unlock the full energy potential of their integration into the energy system.


Cooling experts around the world are working hard to implement and innovate around these solutions. We are also making a global effort, in partnership with coolingEU, to raise awareness on the benefits of energy storage and energy efficiency.

Join us on this amazing journey by reading more about the available solutions and spreading the word on your personal networks using: #ThermalEnergy, #DistrictEnergy, and #SmartStores.


[1] Birmingham Energy Institute (2016) “Clean Cold and the Global Goals”



Space Cooling Technology in Europe Report now Online!

In this report performance and cost data on space cooling technologies installed today in the residential and service sectors and district cooling networks in the EU28 are compiled in a datasheet format. The total installed capacity and overall efficiency of each technology is determined and predictions of their development up to 2050 are made using a bottom-up stock model which is based on aggregated sales data of the last 24 years from 16 EU member states. Existing data on installed capacity of district cooling networks is also presented. Technical information on cooling equipment, installation and sizing, building stock data and climate indicators as well as climate change predictions allow to estimate furthermore current and future cooled indoor surface areas, total cooling demand and corresponding electricity consumption from the installed capacity.

The growth projections are based on pre-financial crisis (2008) sales growth rates and limited by the saturated US market penetration. This work is part of the Heat Roadmap Europe project. The aim of the project is to provide the necessary information and guidance for policy makers to analyse the impact of environmental policies concerning heating and cooling technologies.

Full report here.

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

Please access the full article here.


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)


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.


INDIGO Project – The issue #2 of the project’s Newsletter is out.


Don’t miss INDIGO’s latest video: Indigo – Partners Interview

Keep updated!
Twitter @INDIGOprojectEU
LinkedIn @INDIGOprojectEU
YouTube @INDIGOproject

Retail Refrigeration: Making the Transition to Clean Cold

Original article here

By one estimate, greenhouse gas emissions from cooling account for 7% of global emissions, double that of aviation and shipping combined. Sustainable refrigeration systems are essential for the world to meet the demands of a growing population whilst addressing climate change.

Retail Refrigeration: Making the Transition to Clean Cold, supported by Emerson, a global refrigeration technology and engineering company, examines what the move to natural refrigerants means for retailers and the opportunity to consider overall store and system architecture to deliver broader longer term benefits.


Although progress is being made, retailers are not transitioning from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs ) to natural refrigerants quickly enough to meet phase-down targets. Equally, while phasing down HFC refrigerants will be a huge step forward for climate change, energy consumption remains a bigger challenge.

As retailers make the transition it is important they consider the whole system impacts of refrigeration, not just the need to meet refrigerant targets. In particular, the long term energy efficiency of wider system needs must be considered to ensure that any refrigeration technology selected maximises the overall environmental benefits and economic opportunities. Retailers should also take into account the complexity of installation and long term maintenance requirements of different technologies, which can have a significant impact upon performance and cost.

The role of government

Governments have a critical role to play in encouraging retailers to transition to natural refrigerants and to ensure that the solutions adopted deliver maximum long term benefit. In particular, governments should invest significantly more into research and development of sustainable refrigeration and its integration within energy systems. They should also support the development of a clear pathway for sustainable refrigeration, not just low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants but total system level approaches.

Governments also need to provide incentives, not just penalties, for end-users to accelerate transition to low-impact systems. They should also invest in the skills required to support the long term transition to both natural refrigerants but also clean cooling, recognising that an expanded workforce, with new competencies and certifications, is going to be required.

Professor Toby Peters, Professor, Cold Economy, University of Birmingham


Cooling Sector Profiles Now Available to Download!

coolingEU in collaboration with its supporters and observes, has elaborated 9 fact-sheets with information about the different cooling sectors.

With these publications, we aim at providing a general overview on the importance and diversity of the cooling sectors in Europe.



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Iconset - flat - Communication 01   Contributor: ECTP

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Iconset - flat - Communication 01   Contributor: EVA

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Iconset - flat - Communication 01   Contributor: FRESHFEL

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Iconset - flat - Communication 01   Contributor: SEDC

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Iconset - flat - Communication 01   Contributor: Solar Heat Europe

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