China: record temperatures in Beijing increase cooling demand

In June 2023, Beijing recorded its hottest temperatures in 60 years, affecting electricity and cooling demand.

For three consecutive days in June 2023, Beijing recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius. [1, 2] Thursday 22nd June, was the hottest June day since record keeping began in 1961, according to Chinese officials. Local authorities in Beijing, Tianjin, and other cities in northern and eastern China, have advised people to stop working outdoors during the hottest hours of the day and to seek medical help if they show symptoms of a heat stroke. Last April, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh and India all experienced record temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius.


Rising temperatures lead to increased use of air conditioning and other cooling devices. For example, in the city of Tianjin, China, an increased use of air conditioning has pushed up the power grid's load 23% relative to last year. In the face of potential large-scale power disruptions, the National Energy Administration held its first-ever emergency simulation in China's eastern area, simulating a power spike and outage.


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.[3] In addition, since cooling demand is often strongly dependent on solar radiation intensity, solar cooling appears to be a suitable application to reduce the carbon footprint of air conditioning.[4]



Find out more about solar cooling and other energy-efficient cooling technologies in IIR’s Informative Notes




[2] The Times of India. Jun 25, 2023.

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

[4] Lazzarin, R. Renewable energy today - A quick overview. 51st Informatory Note on Refrigeration Technologies.