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India devises future cooling plan

INDIA: India has produced a comprehensive action plan to address the country’s cooling requirement over the next 20 years with a range of measures.

The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) proposes a reduction of cooling demand, refrigerant transition, enhanced energy efficiency and better technology options.

While India is yet to officially ratify the Kigali Amendment, India’s Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change seeks to reduce demand by 25% to 30% by 2037-38, which would put it ahead of expectations under Kigali. In addition, while looking to reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25%, it is also seeking a reduction in cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% over the same time span.

The Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the thrust of the India Cooling Action Plan is to look for synergies in actions for securing both environmental and socio-economic benefits. “The overarching goal of ICAP is to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society. This will also help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions.”

India’s per capita cooling energy consumption is currently only 69kWh per person, against a global average of 272kWh, but India’s aggregated nationwide cooling requirement is projected to grow around eight-fold by 2037-38. The building sector cooling shows the most significant growth in TR, at nearly 11 times; the cold-chain and refrigeration sectors grow around four times and transport air-conditioning grows around five times the 2017-18 levels.

The measures covered by the ICAP include the promotion of passively-cooled building design with natural and mechanical ventilation, alongside the adoption of adaptive thermal comfort standards to specify pre-setting of temperatures of air conditioning equipment for commercial built spaces. It also seeks to promote the use of energy-efficient refrigerant-based appliances as well as not-in-kind technologies. This would include public procurement of energy-efficient RAC appliances and equipment. India will also seek to support the development and deployment of low-GWP refrigerant alternatives. 

It also looks to set up a national skill development programme for training and certification of 100,000 RAC servicing sector technicians by 2022-23.

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