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Cooling as a Service encourages new models for sustainable cooling

Cooling as a Service, an initiative aimed at scaling up clean and efficient cooling, has unveiled the winner of its Cooling as a Service (CaaS) Prize, aimed at stimulating new models for sustainable cooling, in what is set to become a $1.5 trillion market over the next 10 years.

“Inexpensive cooling systems are cheap to buy but come with a plethora of hidden financial and environmental costs: high energy use, frequent breakdowns, and the use of harmful synthetic refrigerants,” said Thomas Motmans, sustainable energy financespecialist of BASE (The Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy), a Swiss not-for-profit foundation and specialised partner of United Nations Environment which is pioneering the CaaS model.

“The climate emergency requires us to rethink our approach to cooling from the bottom up, to tackle emissions, cut waste and improve livelihoods – all while keeping costs low for end users. Fortunately, the Cooling as a Service business model is providing a blueprint to do just that, establishing a service-based model for cooling that will transform a massive global market for cooling customers, technology manufacturers and investors.”

Cooling as a Service is a  business model that makes efficient and high-tech cooling competitive with cheaper, less efficient systems through a pay-per-use model. Users do not purchase equipment, therefore avoiding the upfront costs of expensive modern cooling systems. Instead, users pay a monthly fee, based on the amount of cooling used. This fee includes maintenance, repairs, and running costs – such as electricity and water – reducing the ‘headache’ of ongoing operation and ensuring guaranteed uptime of the cooling system.

Because manufacturers maintain ownership of the cooling technology, it is in their interest to provide state-of-the-art, reliable systems that require minimal operation and maintenance. It also makes business sense for manufacturers to provide the most efficient technology because utilities, such as electricity and water, make up 80% of lifetime costs.

Kevin Lane, Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) said: “With rising incomes, air-conditioner ownership will skyrocket, especially in the emerging world. Growing electricity demand for this air conditioning is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate. We need to deploy innovative new solutions to avoid a ‘cooling crunch’ over the next 30 years.”


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