INDIA COOLING ACTION PLAN
GS 3: Biodiversity: Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation, Environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.
India’s cooling energy demand is projected to grow exponentially over the next few years. The aggregated nationwide growth is expected to grow 2.2 to 3 times, just in the next decade, over the 2017 baseline. While this poses adverse environmental and societal impacts – significant additional power generation capacity, peak load impacts, and an enormous greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint – there is also an increasing recognition for the social and economic imperatives for access to cooling as development priority in the country as well as globally, especially amongst developing countries with tropical climates in a warming world.
Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, is developing a National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP) that will provide a 20-year outlook on how cooling demand in India will evolve and grow, and outline strategies and actions that promote sustainable and smart cooling practices across the nation while mitigating adverse impacts.
The India Cooling Action seeks to
Cooling requirement is cross sectoral and an essential part for economic growth and is required across different sectors of the economy such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries. Cooling is also linked to human health and productivity. Linkages of cooling with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are well acknowledged. The cross-sectoral nature of cooling and its use in development of the economy makes provision for cooling an important developmental necessity.
The Thematic Areas identified are as follows.
Space Cooling in Buildings; Cold-chain and Refrigeration; Transport Air-conditioning; Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing Sector; Refrigerant Demand and Indigenous Production; R&D and Production sector – Alternative Refrigerants.
The following benefits would accrue to society over and above the environmental benefits:
The need for cooling action plan
Recent studies show that Energy Efficiency and other known strategies and technologies (i.e., without factoring in game changers) can, by 2030, result in energy and carbon savings of ~30%. This can avoid nearly 50 medium sized (500 MW) power plants and free up this investment capacity to provide wider energy access. The potential GHG savings amount to nearly 170 MT/year annually, that is, roughly equivalent to what is saved by 80 GW of solar power. Evolving data increasingly points to the fact that proactively managing India’s cooling energy needs is not just a societal imperative but also a key contributor to meeting India’s sustainable development goals and its international climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement (2015) and the Kigali Amendment (2016) to the Montreal Protocol.
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