green cooling initiative: Green cooling potential

Green cooling potential

CO2 emissions over lifetime

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Life time CO2 emissions in unitary split air conditioning for the business-as-usual and several emission reduction options in developed and developing countries. An average value has been applied for both developed and developing countries as there are significant differences within those country groups. Leak reduction can be achieved through improved design or construction. The hydrocarbon refrigerants HC-290 and HC-1270 are both good natural refrigerant alternatives. District cooling is considered in combination with natural refrigerants.
UAC Indirect emissions developed countries Direct emissions developed countries Indirect emissions developing countries Direct emissions developing countries
Business as usual 15.25 3.31 19.77 6.05
Leak reduction 8.07 2.33 8.17 4.10
HC-290/ HC-1270 8.07 0.00 8.17 0.00
District cooling 8.07 0.00 8.17 0.00

Combining energy efficiency improvements with the introduction of a natural refrigerant can lead to CO2 emission reductions of about 60% compared to the current BAU applications. As leakage rates are usually higher in developing countries and the average energy efficiency is lower, emissions in developing countries are higher. Assuming the same technology as in industrialised countries could be applied through the transfer of environmentally friendly options, the potential of emission reductions lies at around 70%. These calculations do not take into account the decarbonisation of electricity generation, which could reduce indirect emissions significantly.

Emissions and potential emissions savings in UAC

Calculations show that China’s emissions from split residential air conditioners are already more than double the emissions from the US. India’s emissions are currently below the emissions from the US, but will supersede US emissions by 2030. Expected future emissions in China are in the magnitude of more than 2,000 Mt CO2eq by 2030. Together, China, India, US, Europe, Indonesia and Japan make up 80% of the global emissions from split residential air conditioners.

Emissions can be reduced rapidly as new green technology is phased in. The highest emission reduction potentials are found in countries with significant numbers of units in use and considerable total emissions. On average, the emission reduction potential is around 40%. In China, more than 700 Mt CO2eq could be avoided annually by 2030.