Improving air conditioners in India

26 Apr 2018
Alex Hillbrand
Sameer Kwatra
Bhaskar Deol
Amartya Awasthi
Anjali Jaiswal
Stephen O. Andersen
Nancy J. Sherman
Durwood Zaelke

Most modern ACs in India already use climate friendly gases, but increasing their energy efficiency will further boost carbon reduction

Phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in room ACs in India can play a siginificant role in reducing emissions. Air conditioning manufacturers in India already offer ACs using refrigerants such as low global warming potential (GWP) hydrocarbon HC-290 (propane), with GWP 3, and transitional refrigerant HFC-32, with GWP 677, compared to the refrigerants HCFC-22 with GWP 1760 and HFC-410A with GWP 1924. Improving the energy efficiency of room ACs can deliver even more remarkable climate benefits – perhaps three times as large as the benefits of switching refrigerants.

It can also help meet the need for higher productivity and living standards in India while significantly reducing future electricity demand, decreasing energy bills and putting money back in consumers' pockets.

This issue brief is a part of a continuing series, Cooling India with Less Warming, that researches and analyzes advances in energy efficiency and low-GWP refrigerants while meeting the demand for cooling.

Based on extensive discussions with stakeholders, it identifies six strategies to advance climate-friendly AC market in India and globally. The ease of implementing these strategies varies. Some strategies are already underway – such as energy efficiency standards, bulk procurement programs, and national cooling action plans – but may benefit from higher ambition or better integration. Other strategies require longer timeframes, such as localizing supply chains and raising consumer awareness. Some strategies call for government leadership while others rely on leadership from the business community.

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