India Cooling Action Plan

The Environment Ministry India Cooling Action Plan provides measures to address the expected 8-fold increase of the cooling demand until 2037-2038.

The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), launched in September 2018 by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provides a 20-year perspective (2017-18 to 2037-38) and recommendations to address the strong growth of the cooling requirements across sectors and ways and means to provide access to sustainable cooling for all.

In its introduction, the ICAP (draft) stresses that India has one of the lowest access to cooling across the world, which is reflected in its low per-capita levels of energy consumption for space cooling, at 69 kWh, as compared to the world average of 272 kWh and the highest levels of USA (1878 kWh) or Japan (843 kWh).

The aggregated nationwide cooling requirement is projected to grow around 8 times by 2037-38 (reference scenario) as compared to the 2017-18 baseline. The space cooling in buildings shows the most significant growth, at nearly 11 times as compared to the current baseline; the cold chain and refrigeration sectors grow around 4 times and transport air conditioning grows around 5 times the 2017-18 levels.

In 2037-2038, space cooling in buildings is projected to represent 74% of the Indian cooling demand, followed by transport air conditioning (16%), refrigeration (10%) and the cold chain (0.3%).

The projected cooling growth leads to a 5 to 8 times increase in the aggregated refrigerant demand by year 2037-38.

In terms of primary energy supply supplied for both electricity and oil products demand, these ratios are respectively 59%, 10%, 29% and 2% and the energy requirement for cooling is expected to grow nearly 4.5 times in 2037-38 over 2017-18 baseline.

The overarching goal of ICAP is "to provide sustainable cooling and thermal comfort for all while securing environmental and socio-economic benefits for the society". It highlights the following goals over the reference scenario:

  • Recognition of “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national science and technology programme to support development of technological solutions and encourage innovation challenges.
  • Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by year 2037-38.
  • Reduction of refrigerant demand by 25% to 30% by year 2037-38.
  • Reduction of cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by year 2037-38.
  • Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by year 2022-23.

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