BELGIUM: Cooling offers real potential to contribute to a carbon neutral Europe, but a lack of awareness and long-term strategies means its potential has not been fully recognised.
A white paper presented today in Brussels by the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) describes the steps to be taken to deliver sustainable cooling.
A massive growth in the use of cooling throughout the world, especially in developing countries, will deliver huge human health and productivity benefits, will help reduce food loss and improve supply of heat sensitive medicines. However, it is recognised that the growth in the use of cooling could also lead to increased energy consumption associated with greenhouse gas emissions and place significant burdens of peak demand on electricity generation systems.
EPEE insists that these negative impacts can be addressed through the implementation of sustainable cooling – maximising the benefits of cooling whilst creating the smallest possible footprint in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and electrical peak demand.
“Growth in the use of cooling could lead to increased energy consumption with associated greenhouse gas emissions and place significant burden on the electricity grid,” said EPEE director general Andrea Voigt. “But there are numerous solutions available to address these impacts, maximising the benefits of cooling whilst minimising greenhouse gas emissions and electrical peak demand.”
EPEE’s white paper introduces a five-step approach to deliver sustainable cooling: to optimise the need for cooling; improve the energy and resource efficiency of cooling; mitigate the climate impact of refrigerants; address the investment cost for higher efficiency solutions; and shift to renewable energy sources with an integrated approach to cooling and heating of individual buildings or whole cities.
It describes risks and opportunities, including examples of how the EU policy framework has already taken steps forward and an analysis of the remaining challenges.
“It’s not a lack of innovation or a question of available technology, it’s a question of raising awareness on what needs to be done to deliver sustainable cooling. This means, for example, fully implementing and enforcing the EU’s Clean Energy Package as well as explicitly including cooling in national energy and climate plans and long-term strategies,” Voigt said. “Cooling provides a true opportunity to contribute to a carbon neutral Europe, but its potential has not been fully recognised yet. It’s time to change this perception and industry stands ready to deliver”
EPEE’s white paper – Count on Cooling: A five-step approach to deliver sustainable cooling – can be downloaded from a new website countoncooling.eu. The new website has been created to promote the sector’s crucial role in contributing to carbon neutrality in Europe and to help avoid a global climate crisis.