Asia: record temperatures in April increase cooling demand

In April 2023, hotter-than-average temperatures have been recorded in Asia, affecting electricity and cooling demand.

In April 2023, hotter-than-average temperatures have been recorded across a dozen countries in Asia. In Thailand for instance, the temperature felt on 21 April reached 54°C in central Bangkok and the provinces of Chonburi and Phuket. This is the temperature felt by the body when relative humidity is combined with air temperature. When these temperatures are between 41 and 54°C, they can cause heat stroke, leading to potentially fatal physiological dysfunction.[1] In India, the India Meteorological Department is forecasting a hotter summer in some parts of the nation, with temperatures already exceeding 44°C in some places.[2]


According to the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR), a 10%-30% loss of fruit and vegetable crops in different regions has been recorded this year due to the sudden increase in temperatures.[2] In the absence of adequate cold chain infrastructure, heat waves can cause major damage to fresh produce. With only 4% of fresh produce covered by cold chain facilities in India, annual food losses would amount to 13 billion USD according to World Bank estimates.[2]


Rising temperatures lead to increased use of air conditioning and other cooling devices. Spikes in power consumption have been observed in India, Bangladesh, Thailand.[1, 3] According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electricity demand for space cooling in buildings could increase by as much as 40% globally by 2030. Efficiency standards are a key measure to promote the adoption of efficient air-conditioning units in the coming decades.[4]




[1] Courrier International (24 avril 2023)

[2] The Economic Times (Apr 20, 2023).

[3] The Japan Times (Apr 22, 2023).

[4] IEA (2022), Space Cooling, IEA, Paris, License: CC BY 4.0