The implications of the global air conditioning boom

Experts are predicting a global boom in air conditioning installation as demand grows in emerging economies

According to experts, the world is about to experience an air conditioning boom, as emerging economies are recording a yearly growth of 10 to 15 per cent in the installation of air con units; and this is just the beginning, according to a recent Berkeley National Laboratory study.

The Berkeley Lab is part of the University of California’s Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Researchers from the lab have recently published a report suggesting that the world is on the brink of a momentous upsurge in the global demand for air conditioning.

Berkeley Lab forecasts a worldwide growth of air conditioning units from 900,000 in 2015 to 1.6 billion by 2030. This is due to the increase in demand in many emerging economies, including China, Brazil and India, to name but a few.

Currently in the U.S., over two-thirds of households are installed with air con; and this does not account for industrial air conditioning.

There is a concern that if the emerging economies begin to use air conditioning like the U.S. does, the world’s emission of greenhouse gases will increase in critical levels.

The Berkeley Lab study predicts a crisis situation to occur by 2060, when over 2.5 billion air con units are expected to be in use across the globe.

For this reason, there is currently a huge push for the development of eco-friendly air conditioning systems and their installation in emerging countries. A Montreal Protocol and World Bank grant has recently been awarded to a Thailand manufacturer to produce the eco-friendly R32 air con units.

A conference was held last week in San Francisco to discuss the issue and how to control its effects. It was attended by representatives from over 24 countries worldwide.

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