Renewable cooling could provide close to 100% of cooling demand
EUROPE: Although largely ignored as a sustainable technology, a new report suggests that with the right commitment renewable cooling could provide close to 100% of cooling demand in Europe by 2050.
The study, produced by the German Öko-Institute on behalf of the Netherlands Agency for Energy and Climate, maintains that renewable cooling could cover between 50% and 100% of the growing cooling demand in 2050. But if the right political conditions are provided, this share could be close to 100%.
Tanya Kenkmann, project manager and researcher at the Öko-Institute maintains that new technologies in the field of space cooling could make an important contribution to achieving the climate protection goals in the European Union. However, without guidelines and political objectives from the EU, member states lack the necessary incentive instruments to promote renewable cooling, she says.
Renewable cooling only plays a minor role in the current discussions and policies on climate change and data on the use of renewable heat technologies are not even included in the statistics, argues the Öko-Institute. As a result, the numbers will not count towards the development goals defined in the Renewable Energy Directive of the EU.
In addition to solar air conditioning, other technologies that could be developed and used include direct cooling with water or snow and cooling with ground water, with or without an intermediate heat pump.
In order to ensure that at least half of the cooling demand in the EU is covered by renewable technologies, the Öko-Institute recommendations include an EU-wide uniform definition and terminology to provide renewable cooling and to implement them in legal requirements.