La demande de froid en plein essor (en anglais)

L'explosion de la demande en froid est déjà évidente dans certains pays : par exemple, le nombre des foyers chinois résidant en ville et en possession d'un réfrigérateur est passé de 7 % en 1995 à 95 % en 2007.
The boom in cooling demand is already well established for some products in some countries: fridge ownership among Chinese urban households rose from 7% in 1995 to 95% in 2007, for example. But in others it is just getting started: India has scarcely 9,000 refrigerated trucks to serve a population of 1.3 billion, but if it had the same ratio as Britain, India’s fleet would number 1.5 million. A recent report from India’s National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) found the country needs an additional 53,000 refrigerated vehicles, 70,000 pack houses and 3 million tonnes of cold storage capacity simply to catch up with current levels of consumption - never mind cater for future growth.

Air conditioning demand is already booming in China, where the proportion of urban households with air con soared from less than 1% in 1990 to 62% in 2003, and where in 2010 alone consumers bought 50 million units – equivalent to half the entire US domestic air conditioner fleet. The same process is now starting in India, where the number of room air conditioners rose from 2 million in 2006 to 5 million by 2011, and is forecast to reach 200 million by 2030.

Although air conditioning demand is already booming in Asia, it is still nowhere near its potential peak, according to one recent analysis. Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan investigated how much energy would be required if all countries had the same level of air conditioning comfort as the US, where according to the Energy Information Administration 87% of households are equipped and residential cooling consumes 185TWh per year. The US currently consumes more energy for air conditioning than all other countries combined, but because many developing countries have large populations and hot climates, they would require far more cooling energy than the US for the same level of air conditioning comfort. The US would be knocked into 9th place, utterly dwarfed by India, China and Indonesia (see graph). The rest of the world would consume around 50 times more energy than the US, and altogether the world would consume around 9,500TWh per year, which is almost half the electricity consumed worldwide for all purposes in 2010.

Air conditioning demand is also expected to keep growing in the developed economies: the European Commission expects cooling demand in EU buildings to rise 70% by 2030.18 Demand is also likely to keep growing in the US, where penetration rose from 68% of all occupied housing units in 1993 to 87% in 2009.

A study from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency estimates that by 2100 worldwide energy demand for air-conditioning could increase by 72 percent as a result of climate change alone. The same authors expect global energy demand for space cooling will overtake space heating by 2060, and outstrip it by 60% at the end of the century, as cooling demand in the developing countries of the global south grows faster than heating demand in the developed northern economies.
Another fast growing source of cooling demand is data centres. Data centres consume 2-3% of Britain’s electricity, and half of that is for cooling, without which the internet would quickly collapse. Global data centre power consumption almost quadrupled between 2007 and 2013 to 43GW, roughly the generating capacity of South Africa.

Source : Birmingham Energy Institute