The Future of Cooling
Opportunities for energy-efficient air conditioning
IEA (2018), The Future of Cooling, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/the-future-of-cooling, License: CC BY 4.0
About this report
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.
Percentage of households equiped with AC in selected countries, 2018Open
Most homes in hot countries have not yet purchased their first AC
Global air conditioner stock, 1990-2050Open
The world faces a ‘cold crunch’
Share of global electricity demand growth to 2050Open
Cooling is the fastest growing use of energy in buildings
The problem is, today's consumers are not buying the most efficient ACs
Space cooling energy demand growth and savings potential, baseline and cooling scenario, 2016-2050Open
Investing in more efficient ACs could cut future energy demand in half
Share of cooling in electricity system peak loads in selected countries/region, baseline and cooling scenarioOpen
Cooling will drive peak electricity demand, especially in hot countries
Cumulative investments in power generation for space cooling to 2050, baseline and cooling scenarioOpen
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.