The Future of Cooling

Opportunities for energy-efficient air conditioning

Download the Report (92 pages)   Read the press release   Global Exchange on Efficiency: Cooling


"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.





Findings


	Share of households with AC
Japan	91
United States	90
Korea	86
Saudi Arabia	63
China	60
Mexico	16
Brazil	16
Indonesia	9
South Africa	6
India	5
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The world faces a ‘cold crunch’

By 2050, around 2/3 of the world’s households could have an air conditioner. China, India and Indonesia will together account for half of the total number.

	United States	China	Japan and Korea	European Union	India	Indonesia	Mexico	Brazil	Middle East	Rest of world
1990	227.0176793	78.54766066	106.5296089	43.77064293	2.46630647	1.859326167	4.596069187	7.237480797	12.10002548	91.54656348
1991	224.2169864	80.98929574	114.0607446	44.32787351	2.758942794	1.9719476	5.190818962	7.733346653	13.38309021	94.23932821
1992	230.7735212	86.97834252	118.3534302	45.92364072	3.137077492	2.07681851	5.473180667	7.829132699	14.49252873	96.36401261
1993	237.3265818	90.19742061	122.7995927	46.83602483	3.589301695	2.265779345	5.261913011	8.464006408	15.10915824	99.90051372
1994	244.6026296	97.75735739	126.9505906	47.93053754	4.088637823	2.437593775	5.316817993	9.401219385	15.24204987	102.0273356
1995	251.2763126	102.2269029	131.9470342	49.27871356	4.722590232	2.679238771	5.105548764	10.53306503	15.63992234	104.2793987
1996	258.7707209	111.1633968	135.6989089	51.07618607	5.405049135	2.950557121	5.106197007	11.03667938	16.13800102	107.1283179
1997	266.7502149	117.2497256	140.0772388	53.57018913	6.201283352	3.129820135	5.437063442	11.79376287	16.91293865	111.1279579
1998	276.4756728	124.1690689	142.3378388	56.35703577	7.068315187	2.976666584	6.22267839	12.13072593	19.00956301	113.5270913
1999	283.1047146	130.9749265	146.2162773	59.15389931	8.130890459	3.049355347	6.704480655	12.28414603	18.0170333	115.5732788
2000	291.3078902	138.1382935	150.0228594	64.75958783	8.476465213	2.819772812	8.118120191	12.85634694	17.99842293	121.2776302
2001	299.0917029	149.3781132	151.085565	68.3036257	8.84823239	2.930909102	8.235034794	12.84044425	19.00430818	124.7743366
2002	307.3485161	159.6438081	155.7509881	71.21171744	9.26231915	3.213610895	8.311672293	13.05952821	19.18555962	128.4600286
2003	314.2134812	172.9009953	159.4129102	74.20260643	9.661799804	3.601776433	8.4423692	13.30720298	20.72189666	135.0844381
2004	322.478614	183.3827723	164.1452906	77.02293947	10.13510246	3.790991289	8.789159889	14.06857247	23.47815739	144.1540215
2005	328.4353316	200.2447907	169.4255611	79.20716889	10.72885426	4.032814301	9.404036851	14.85983958	24.01365146	152.37216
2006	336.3836926	223.3226618	174.5513387	81.34033834	11.38725766	4.296257987	9.989598812	16.0350566	26.3841442	161.4784038
2007	340.3688672	252.4723864	179.0600756	83.43289536	12.16643532	4.816257334	10.52194183	18.16361217	29.97147878	174.3294077
2008	345.6181764	274.7861749	182.6320914	86.19408349	13.07659712	5.196453908	11.10611516	19.96835331	33.53777689	183.0599421
2009	345.9200483	308.5764459	183.9448488	88.11030404	14.24904493	5.596563931	11.12104088	21.93877055	40.0322864	189.3475949
2010	349.0341742	342.9172996	189.8713072	88.21629291	15.47745777	6.057132975	11.30737659	25.10798152	42.08741166	198.9558271
2011	353.2818857	378.5062866	194.6841345	88.45646112	16.67249002	6.671833693	11.78141904	27.24699733	41.05267396	207.7062129
2012	357.8334674	419.3282439	198.2635609	88.10507686	18.04777768	7.669243057	12.56140867	29.33503981	42.40690021	218.4115322
2013	355.6486689	457.029402	202.1126226	88.88235894	19.50312132	8.742181917	13.63487554	31.11913484	43.59892789	228.4037762
2014	359.6423568	492.1314472	203.1899503	90.4752348	21.51747498	9.798904202	14.30190573	31.33859698	44.62104078	235.3041604
2015	367.7642636	531.2267525	204.9097765	93.30004391	23.73891802	10.91172291	15.11910219	29.79165472	45.53765747	241.1485313
2016	373.5860979	569.3831773	206.9564399	96.52376112	26.5590561	12.14265627	15.84012684	27.40286411	47.02946881	246.2964452
2017	379.7020902	607.917621	208.4672173	100.1987326	30.11764666	13.66951235	16.70087602	26.08921733	49.07275568	254.4246827
2018	386.4913048	643.4193681	211.6805381	104.9210378	35.63698237	15.81169546	18.0722059	27.34279542	51.54350594	266.3966918
2019	393.2667676	688.0846716	214.9812618	110.2483385	41.59691772	18.23578434	19.5044212	28.12054928	54.28845654	279.2874541
2020	399.4711913	730.1929796	218.0677934	115.3113867	47.72605524	20.63273733	20.93040256	29.00409696	57.00639924	291.7316936
2021	405.4028785	773.6929554	220.9156572	120.472643	56.56172151	23.80203304	22.64440005	30.38605057	60.19642012	305.8693945
2022	411.2924363	818.0507783	223.8860645	125.6528919	66.6852196	27.30564816	24.62081269	32.03852044	63.74027437	320.9137272
2023	416.892553	862.1206403	226.8217713	130.8975239	78.74163953	31.20736506	26.85968795	34.0153223	67.62857428	337.0046498
2024	422.2953976	905.2536063	229.6786058	136.1513562	93.06646112	35.5645476	29.34096636	36.34348985	71.81694968	354.2320769
2025	427.5555644	947.0647171	232.4454685	141.4193416	109.8502668	40.39121632	32.03371349	39.02251122	76.29012474	372.6554966
2026	432.6955583	987.3171563	235.0960536	146.6668496	129.3816837	45.65791882	34.91708079	41.97878826	81.00870191	392.1037303
2027	437.7240894	1025.692891	237.5813789	151.8923002	151.9492787	51.42483326	37.97265491	45.21021427	85.98527316	412.7572363
2028	442.6897777	1062.052001	239.9025371	157.1007313	177.8129041	57.69889848	41.18829109	48.71291099	91.20180417	434.6685837
2029	447.663835	1096.299521	242.0691724	162.2967097	207.212573	64.46069763	44.55057336	52.48256522	96.6538352	457.8654569
2030	452.6968241	1128.364427	244.0911579	167.4826665	240.3219222	71.68614524	48.04660728	56.52044086	102.3153797	482.3668437
2031	457.7856434	1158.162502	245.9926361	172.6784266	277.0922122	79.3333864	51.67664651	60.8310265	108.084831	508.1422616
2032	462.8946968	1185.800875	247.7598503	177.8636588	317.5712029	87.38970388	55.41652784	65.40153289	113.9925285	535.276489
2033	467.9522671	1211.309775	249.3907124	183.0628663	361.5842177	95.80292164	59.25236856	70.22112523	120.0065918	563.7383581
2034	472.9058644	1234.728613	250.8851001	188.2925652	408.802635	104.5154185	63.17135713	75.27254436	126.0848841	593.4821132
2035	477.7564721	1256.125146	252.2568128	193.5521197	458.7589155	113.4608711	67.1598421	80.53151849	132.1849866	624.4470163
2036	482.519505	1275.621992	253.5461616	198.8685726	510.718424	122.528449	71.21942369	85.98395775	138.2159392	656.5300239
2037	487.195995	1293.337874	254.7338551	204.2222683	564.1625496	131.6946486	75.3184661	91.58955656	144.206188	689.7839046
2038	491.7683512	1309.493745	255.8336111	209.6032694	618.3811518	140.8929392	79.44168454	97.31143766	150.123024	724.1244865
2039	496.2349106	1324.286174	256.8734532	215.0028791	672.6577259	150.0606219	83.57399228	103.2994419	155.9353849	759.4913133
2040	500.6098074	1337.859956	257.8799298	220.4268024	726.3111813	159.1394105	87.70042585	109.3318949	161.6216923	795.7903444
2041	504.9070867	1350.382567	258.8804836	225.9301964	778.5813105	168.0387754	91.83217663	115.4002931	167.1184767	832.901538
2042	509.1610557	1361.882621	259.8399952	231.4471592	829.1379457	176.7547034	95.93321441	121.4405875	172.4891121	870.8414204
2043	513.3842872	1372.368507	260.7566397	236.9809371	877.5882175	185.2448936	99.98616763	127.4155316	177.7307644	909.5127491
2044	517.5753196	1381.834714	261.6322184	242.5286727	923.6414773	193.4730264	103.9767918	133.2922342	182.8317102	948.8109053
2045	521.7327587	1390.302934	262.4681915	248.0688588	967.0978663	201.4103554	107.8955262	139.0400972	187.781589	988.6622256
2046	525.8613479	1397.874137	263.2798884	253.6340227	1007.653822	209.0023209	111.7672541	144.6720315	192.5390053	1028.945772
2047	529.9698227	1404.52335	264.0572339	259.1489079	1045.537572	216.2751193	115.5479151	150.1166635	197.1522695	1069.623028
2048	534.0617717	1410.284678	264.7996772	264.5977913	1080.784339	223.226986	119.2267036	155.3563973	201.6277939	1110.640156
2049	538.1341261	1415.188862	265.5102263	269.9775773	1113.467585	229.8627738	122.7964792	160.3847789	205.971199	1151.975552
2050	542.1752754	1419.273518	266.191406	275.2896536	1143.697482	236.1865771	126.2515858	165.1961498	210.1835027	1193.606984
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Introducing the Efficient Cooling Scenario

The Efficient Cooling Scenario describes an energy pathway based on strong policy action to limit energy needs for space cooling. First and foremost, it considers the implications of much tighter minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for air-conditioning equipment. The scenario does not assume any need for further technological advances, even though they will undoubtedly occur and help push up the average efficiency of new models. The Efficient Cooling Scenario is compatible with the ambitious climate goals under the Paris Agreement.



	2016	2050 Baseline Scenario	2050 Efficient Cooling Scenario
United States	29.0219848	32.5562967	22.5861825
China	16.4957448	17.2104867	12.7621621
Korea	16.1978543	19.0480282	15.5571104
Middle East	16.0921498	31.4463222	13.260996
Indonesia	14.9752196	40.7116338	30.2417392
India	10.5496596	44.076378	19.3479597
Mexico	10.1647384	24.3287559	15.1370383
Brazil	7.5810538	30.7870366	20.472256
South Africa	1.8759042	5.4137387	2.5552905
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Efficient ACs can cut investment, fuel and operating costs...

The Efficient Cooling Scenario reduces investment and running costs by USD 3 trillion between now and 2050. Average cooling energy costs would be almost halved.

	Cumulative generation investments
Baseline Scenario	3183
Efficient Cooling Scenario	1977
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	Average annual electricity costs for cooling 2050
Baseline Scenario	62
Efficient Cooling Scenario	35
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... and also help reduce emissions

More efficient ACs cut CO2 emissions from space cooling in half and combined with cleaner power sources can radically reduce overall emissions. Local air pollution is also drastically cut.

 
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Download the Report (92 pages)   Read the press release   Global Exchange on Efficiency: Cooling

"The Future of Cooling" is the second IEA report that focuses on "blind spots" of the global energy system, following the "The Future of Trucks," which was released in July 2017. The next one in this series – "The Future of Petro-Chemicals" – will examine ways to build a more sustainable petrochemical industry. It will be released in September.