Solar - Powered Cooling Solutions In India

As the head of project to the development of solar product manufacturing, supply & consultation and installation services, Monika contributes for the sectors of healthcare, infrastructure, telecom, robotics and aviation.

T he radiations from the sun are enough capable of producing heat which causes chemical reactions or generating electricity. In the current times, solar energy has become the most attractive renewable energy source that is inexhaustible supply, environment friendly. Solar energy can be best used in the form of electricity and so are the major players doing it. The solar thermal cooling solutions are the best use of it currently. The cooling process is driven by solar energy and converted to thermal energy and used further. It involves various processes like absorption, adsorption, and desiccant cycle, and electrical energy. This is a sustainable means of cooling that uses different principles and functioning.

“By harnessing the solar power or innovation, India song with the rest of the world will be able to provide access to cooling to all without warming the environment”

In March 2019, The Government of India had launched India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), keeping the fast developing industry in view with a time horizon of almost 20 years which highlights India's action plan for reducing refrigerant transition, cooling demand, enhancing and better technology across the sector. Earlier, India had a target of 20GW capacity for 2022 which has already been achieved four years ahead of the schedule. If we look at the current market, the cooling demand is set to rise in the future in our country as it is a cross sectoral growth and an essential part of economic growth. A major part of cooling demand depends on refrigeration based cooling across different sectors like buildings, refrigeration, cold-chain, transport. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) cause 10 percent of the global CO2 emissions.

If we talk about the dynamic Indian consumer market, the air conditioning industry in India is growing at a rapid rate and that is directly proportional to the rise in the middle class population, rising number of houses & buildings. To make it an environment friendly market, solar powered cooling solutions can be an effective means, but that again calls for revamping the market, which is going to be a tedious process. According to the World Health Organization by 2050, more than 255,000 people would die of extreme heat waves annually. And if go by the statistics, of the 2.8 billion people living in the hottest parts of the world, only 8 percent have air conditioners (ACS). It has been reported that access to comfort cooling is critical for many communities around the world and deploying entry level air conditioners, which typically consume a lot of energy and could possibly be one of the largest end use risks to our climatic conditions. As per statistics, the direct and indirect emissions from room ACs could contribute to as much as a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in global warming by 2100. It's a vicious circle, where AC units impact our health and climate at large.

As per World Economic Forum, India has only five percent of the global annual emissions from room ACs presently, India is predicted to account for over 25 percent of annual emissions globally by 2050 due to the unprecedented rise in comfort cooling demand, particularly in the residential sector. Taking the lead, EESL has recently announced that they are partnering with BSES, a utility in Delhi, for a 12 month pilot program that will look at deploying ACs that are 40 percent more efficient and are priced comparably to the three-star ACs. As per the report, the pilot program would cater to around 2.5 million residential and institutional consumers in Delhi and around.

By harnessing the solar power or innovation, India song with the rest of the world will be able to provide access to cooling to all without warming the environment.