IEA (2018), The Future of Cooling, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/the-future-of-cooling
Using air conditioners and electric fans to stay cool accounts for nearly 20% of the total electricity used in buildings around the world today. Rising demand for space cooling is also putting enormous strain on electricity systems in many countries, as well as driving up emissions. Absent firm policy interventions, there is no doubt that global demand for space cooling and the energy needed to provide it will continue to grow for decades to come. However, there is an enormous opportunity to quickly influence the growth of cooling-related energy demand through policies to improve equipment efficiency. This special IEA report aims to raise awareness globally about one of the most critical energy issues of our time, outlining a sustainable path to the future of cooling that will allow people to reap the benefits of cooling without straining the energy system or the environment.
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.
Most homes in hot countries have not yet purchased their first AC
The world faces a ‘cold crunch’
Cooling is the fastest growing use of energy in buildings
The problem is, today's consumers are not buying the most efficient ACs
Investing in more efficient ACs could cut future energy demand in half
Cooling will drive peak electricity demand, especially in hot countries
Efficient ACs can cut investment, fuel and operating costs...
...and also help reduce emissions
The Future of Cooling is the second IEA report that focuses on "blind spots" of the global energy system, following The Future of Trucks, which was released in July 2017. The next one in this series – The Future of Petrochemicals – will examine ways to build a more sustainable petrochemical industry. It will be released in September.