Energy Efficiency: Cooling

The global exchange for energy efficiency policies, data and impacts

Space cooling energy use has doubled since 2000, from 3.6 EJ to 7 EJ, making it the fastest growing end-use in buildings. This trend could continue without action to improve energy efficiency, which could limit the increase in space cooling energy use in 2040 to levels 19% higher than today.

Explore the Future of Cooling report


The world faces a 'cold crunch'


Cooling energy use in buildings has doubled since 2000, from 3.6 EJ to 7 EJ, making it the fastest growing end-use in buildings, led by a combination of warmer temperatures and increased activity due to population and economic growth. 

Without efficiency gains, space cooling energy use could more than double between now and 2040 due to increased activity and use of air conditioning. In the Efficient World Scenario, energy efficiency for cooling offsets much of the climate, activity and structure impacts to limit cooling energy growth between now and 2040 to 19%.

As well as being the home of cooling efficiency data and analysis, this site also serves as a progress tracker for the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol.

Policy insights


The IEA Efficient World Strategy highlights a range of actions through which governments can enable greater energy efficiency gains in buildings, including for space cooling.

Explore buildings policies

Explore the data


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	Natural gas	Electricity	Share of energy use in buildings
1990	15.59	592.10	2.4000
1991	16.62	621.28	2.4500
1992	17.85	573.10	2.2800
1993	19.78	613.59	2.3600
1994	23.39	662.98	2.5600
1995	25.38	700.83	2.6700
1996	25.45	706.72	2.6300
1997	27.01	745.60	2.7700
1998	29.77	874.55	3.2700
1999	31.29	903.53	3.3000
2000	31.93	944.25	3.4000
2001	32.11	991.99	3.5300
2002	35.46	1112.69	3.9100
2003	33.40	1136.97	3.8800
2004	35.28	1206.24	4.0500
2005	35.46	1308.50	4.3300
2006	33.03	1303.95	4.2800
2007	34.14	1398.28	4.5200
2008	33.60	1410.01	4.4900
2009	31.69	1401.93	4.4700
2010	33.27	1568.44	4.8600
2011	31.53	1579.91	4.9200
2012	31.08	1646.56	5.0800
2013	30.98	1672.68	5.0100
2014	29.15	1708.48	5.0800
2015	26.70	1830.76	5.3700
2016	25.24	1996.66	5.8600
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Download the data (Excel format)

With support from
K-CEP

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Note: Countries covered are IEA countries plus Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
	Residential - in use	Residential - sales	Non-residential - in use	Non-residential - sales
2000	3.05	3.20	2.86	3.13
2001	3.08	3.19	2.89	3.20
2002	3.11	3.24	2.91	3.18
2003	3.14	3.37	2.94	3.23
2004	3.17	3.43	2.98	3.26
2005	3.22	3.60	3.01	3.34
2006	3.29	3.78	3.07	3.55
2007	3.36	3.85	3.15	3.60
2008	3.44	3.95	3.22	3.70
2009	3.53	4.05	3.30	3.82
2010	3.62	4.06	3.37	3.85
2011	3.71	4.11	3.44	3.95
2012	3.78	4.12	3.50	3.96
2013	3.85	4.11	3.55	4.06
2014	3.91	4.11	3.61	4.16
2015	3.96	4.11	3.67	4.19
2016	4.01	4.14	3.73	4.24
2017	4.05	4.16	3.80	4.26
2020	4.38	5.16	4.23	5.60
2025	5.22	6.11	5.31	6.87
2030	6.15	6.91	6.38	7.78
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With support from
K-CEP

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Download the data (Excel format)

With support from
K-CEP

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	Average
        Australia	3.3
        Brazil	3.0
        Canada	3.1
        China	3.3
        Europe	2.9
        India	3.0
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        Japan	3.0
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        Philippines	2.7
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        United States	2.9
        
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Download the data (Excel format)

	Average
        Europe	5.3
Japan	5.2
Korea	4.6
China	4.4
United States	4.2
Singapore	4.2
Canada	3.9
Australia	3.5
Thailand	3.3
India	3.2
Saudi Arabia	3.0
        
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Download the data (Excel format)

	Average
Chillers	6.2
VRF multi-split	4.2
Large packaged AC	3.9
Large split AC	3.6
Close control AC	3.3
PTAC	3.3
        
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Download the data (Excel file)

	Average
0.5	3.48
0.75	4.34
1	3.90
1.25	3.55
1.5	3.53
2	3.46
2.5	3.47
3	3.55
3.5	3.50
4	3.42
4.5	3.42
5	3.39
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	Average
0.75	3.11
1	3.16
1.25	3.28
1.5	3.14
2	3.12
2.5	2.98
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	Average
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1.25	3.62
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2	3.31
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3	3.38
3.5	2.76
4	3.07
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       6.25,
       5.42,
       5.1,
       4.85,
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       4.86,
       3.48,
       3.07
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       }
   ]
}
	Average
0.75	3.54
1	3.74
1.25	3.51
1.5	3.65
2	3.67
2.5	3.55
3	4.37
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     },
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}
	Average
0.5	3.54
0.75	3.38
1	3.51
1.25	3.46
1.5	3.54
2	3.40
2.5	3.92
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	Average
0.75	4.39
1	4.31
1.25	3.51
1.5	3.15
2	2.96
2.5	2.75
3	3.00
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    "text": "Japanese air-conditioners: Energy efficiency ratio by cooling capacity"
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        [2.37,3.29],
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     "data": [
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        2.02,
        2.37,
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     },
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       "colorIndex": 0,
       "data": [
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	Average
0.5	3.50
0.75	3.45
1	3.16
1.25	3.32
1.5	3.46
2	3.31
2.5	3.24
3	3.01
3.5	2.88
4	2.94
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    "text": "Korean air-conditioners: Energy efficiency ratio by cooling capacity"
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        2.52
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	Average
0.5	2.87
0.75	2.94
1	2.91
1.25	2.98
1.5	2.83
2	2.81
2.5	2.77
3	2.88
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    "text": "Philippine air-conditioners: Energy efficiency ratio by cooling capacity"
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     "data": [
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      [2.61,3.78]
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   },
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     },
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     "colorIndex": 2,
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     },
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	Average
0.5	3.07
0.75	3.16
1.25	3.03
1.5	2.88
2	2.61
2.5	2.92
3.5	2.94
4.5	2.93
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  "title": {
    "text": "South African air-conditioners: Energy efficiency ratio by cooling capacity"
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     "data": [
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   },
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        2.53
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     },
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	Average
0.5	3.93
0.75	3.71
1	3.75
1.25	3.87
1.5	3.89
2	3.82
2.5	3.85
3	3.68
3.5	3.46
4	3.87
4.5	4.75
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    "text": "Singaporean air-conditioners: Energy efficiency ratio by cooling capacity"
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     "pointPadding": 0.4,
     "data": [
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	Average
0.75	3.59
1	3.39
1.25	3.59
1.5	3.66
2	3.65
2.5	3.56
3	3.66
3.5	3.61
4	3.57
4.5	3.59
5	3.48
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}

With support from
K-CEP

Show me

	Oil	Natural gas	Coal	Share of cooling in total emissions from buildings
1990	58.7392834	46.16462888	241.1773362	6.298917938
1991	59.45506473	51.47698873	250.0241045	6.284958295
1992	54.89621293	46.38808164	236.8952435	5.958169001
1993	56.72666282	49.13394739	252.4312287	6.09200637
1994	60.04011631	55.49281501	272.3307517	6.507131321
1995	60.55372345	59.40594181	291.0402013	6.745286131
1996	58.57152042	61.46236309	303.6307396	6.568169717
1997	63.55152213	67.75494202	315.1636624	7.027595928
1998	72.75697721	82.22193692	368.0286259	8.193272912
1999	70.77080992	88.14409969	372.8977173	8.137066772
2000	69.27470842	89.92922378	396.56689	8.311366565
2001	69.47364807	98.38882921	423.111288	8.626779699
2002	74.786145	113.0353575	470.0941159	9.314761647
2003	73.69616078	114.3926092	494.9138696	9.280569231
2004	74.96571873	124.3410756	522.6515005	9.62133208
2005	77.60369878	136.7020705	574.2511156	10.19523233
2006	68.76755575	136.2334441	579.3139544	9.960938881
2007	71.38570056	149.1399138	623.7245992	10.3755478
2008	68.29736719	152.7360787	610.0006945	10.17074844
2009	66.27762457	153.8287393	596.515042	10.11427123
2010	68.75533064	174.9537181	663.919179	10.76849332
2011	72.5817199	172.4024618	678.9943323	10.97375427
2012	77.19290752	183.7205495	691.854807	11.14118814
2013	73.58422136	177.7726732	708.4475934	11.00019451
2014	70.46760299	180.4299558	715.0303564	11.11528486
2015	72.53887945	202.1387268	734.7353584	11.46403303
2016	74.04798729	223.7453722	747.2066405	12.38648383
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}

With support from
K-CEP

Show me

Single-zone residential ductless mini-split air conditioners in China, 2016

	Refrigerant type
R290	0
R32	0.8
R410A	65.7
R22	27.3
Not specified	6.2
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        }
    }
	Efficiency label
Level1	12.319
Level2	29.855
Level3	57.824
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    }
	Compressor type
Fixed speed	28
Variable	57
Not specified	15
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    }
	System type
Reversible	43
Not reversible	2
Not specified	55
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Single-zone residential ductless mini-split air conditioners in India, 2016

	Refrigerant type
R290	0.4
R32	2
R410A	10.10
R22	37.50
Not specified	50.00
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    }
	Efficiency label
5 star	28
4 star	1
3 star	45
2 star	15
Not specified	11
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	Compressor type
Fixed speed	38.3
Variable	1.3
Not specified	60.4
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    }
	System type
Reversible	0.1
Not reversible	2.4
Not specified	97.5
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Single-zone residential ductless mini-split air conditioners in Saudi Arabia, 2016

	Refrigerant type
R290	0
R32	0
R410A	3.734439834
R22	0
Not specified	96.26556017
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    }
	Efficiency label
7 star	96.7
6 star	3.3
Not specified	11.3
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	Compressor type
Fixed speed	100

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    }
	System type
Reversible	51
Not reversible	49
Not specified	0
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Single-zone residential ductless mini-split air conditioners in the United States, 2016

	Refrigerant type
R290	0
R32	0
R410A	18.1
R22	0
Not specified	81.9
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    }
	Efficiency label
Energy Star	15.8
Not Energy Star	5.2
Not specified	79
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	Compressor type
Variable speed	100

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    }
	System type
Reversible	79
Not reversible	0
Not specified	21
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    }
	Mean
2.5-3	1210
3-3.5	579
3.5-4	820
4-4.5	732
4.5-5	809
5-5.5	814
5.5-6	1084
6-6.5	4004
6.5-7	3300
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       "title": {
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       "alternateGridColor": "#f6f6f6"
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   }, {
     "name": "Typical available",
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     "pointPadding": 0.4,
     "data": [
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      [280,733],
      [387,1074],
      [387,894],
      [467,914],
      [496,913],
      [527,1281],
      [3404,4688],
      [2787,3814]
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   },
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     "className": "noline",
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        160,
        220,
        240,
        278,
        280,
        400,
        3320,
        2787
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     "name": "Average price",
     "type": "line",
     "className": "noline",
     "marker": {
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     },
     "colorIndex": 2,
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        640,
        534,
        653,
        707,
        954,
        3921,
        3300
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     },
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       "name": "Max price",
       "type": "line",
       "className": "noline",
       "marker": {
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       },
       "colorIndex": 0,
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          1926,
          1375,
          2068,
          1601,
          1575,
          1468,
          2269,
          4855,
          3814
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       }
   ]
}
	Mean
2-2.5	534
2.5-3	441
3-3.5	445
3.5-4	499
4-4.5	494
4.5-5	781
5-5.5	539
5.5-6	721
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       "title": {
           "text": "SEER or EER (W/W)"
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       "alternateGridColor": "#f6f6f6"
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   "tooltip": {
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   "series": [
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     "name": "Typical available",
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        [326,524],
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     "type": "line",
     "className": "noline",
     "marker": {
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     "colorIndex": 7,             
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        274,
        374,
        781,
        449,
        721
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     },
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     "name": "Average price",
     "type": "line",
     "className": "noline",
     "marker": {
       "symbol": "diamond",
       "radius": 6
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     "colorIndex": 2,
     "data": [
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        371,
        422,
        481,
        473,
        781,
        533,
        721
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     },
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       "name": "Max price",
       "type": "line",
       "className": "noline",
       "marker": {
         "symbol": "circle",
         "radius": 5
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          534,
          734,
          681,
          740,
          732,
          781,
          634,
          721
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       }
   ]
}
	Mean
3-3.5	825
3.5-4	936
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  "title": {
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   "tooltip": {
     "valueSuffix": " USD"
   },
   "series": [{
     "name": "Typical available",
     "colorIndex": 99,
     "pointPadding": 0.4,
     "data": [
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     "type": "line",
     "className": "noline",
     "marker": {
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       "radius": 5
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     "colorIndex": 7,             
     "data": [
        547,
        677
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     },
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     "name": "Average price",
     "type": "line",
     "className": "noline",
     "marker": {
       "symbol": "diamond",
       "radius": 6
     },
     "colorIndex": 2,
     "data": [
        794,
        797
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     },
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       "name": "Max price",
       "type": "line",
       "className": "noline",
       "marker": {
         "symbol": "circle",
         "radius": 5
       },
       "colorIndex": 0,
       "data": [
            1140,
            1733
         ]
       }
   ]
}
	Mean
3.5-4	1589
4-4.5	2172
4.5-5	313
5-5.5	1966
5.5-6	1839
6-6.5	1721
6.5-7	1371
7-7.5	1398
7.5-8	1439
8-9	1397
>9	1478
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       "title": {
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       "alternateGridColor": "#f6f6f6"
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   "series": [
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      [905,2478],
      [1074,2649],
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      [1263,1836]
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   },
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AC Challenge logo CEM logo SEAD logo Berkeley Lab logo

Building on work in the CEM’s Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative, the AC Challenge is providing this resource to facilitate policymakers, industry, consumers and other stakeholders to have better information of cooling product markets globally.

 

Tracking Clean Energy Progress on cooling: More efforts needed

The IEA’s newly-enhanced Tracking Clean Energy Progress provides a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of a full range of energy technologies and sectors that are critical in a global clean-energy transition.

Energy demand for cooling is the fastest growing end-use in buildings. Sales are rising three times faster than efficiency improvements, and 10 air conditioners will be sold every second over the next 30 years. To put cooling on track to meet the SDS target, minimum energy performance standards need to push markets to improve AC performance by more than 50% by 2030. This could cut CO2 emissions from space cooling in half while reducing local air pollution.

Read more...

Related resources


IEA publications on buildings

Other resources

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