How Do We Stay Cool in a Hot World?
Supriya Prakash Sen takes a look ahead at one industry that is growing fast in the face of a heating planet, and how we can address and reconcile the needs of both the consumer and the environment.
Last week, I wrote this article about the worrying prospects if governments, policy makers, corporations and the public at large, fail to prioritize the climate in the hurry to get things “back to normal”. Except that this is a new normal – and there is no “going back” to the old, if humanity is to survive/thrive beyond 2050. The gravity of the problem is well stated elsewhere, so I would refrain from repeating it here. But we should be ambitious when building back after this crisis, to build back better.
Many industries stand to benefit from the transition to a new, sustainable, low-carbon normal. As we fundamentally rethink things, it is possible to design for sustainability while still generating plenty of new local jobs. One such industry is the rather overlooked $134 billion p.a Cooling industry.
Global lockdowns have fundamentally changed the structure of energy demand. Right now, offices and commercial buildings are mostly shut or sparsely populated, but distributed cooling devices are working overtime, with a sharp rise in the use of building air conditioners, domestic fridges/ freezers. Meanwhile, there is also ramped up demand for cooling from agri & medical cold- chains, healthcare facilities, data centres etc.
Points covered in this article include:
- Devoting resources to intelligent energy system design
- Insisting on better designed buildings and precincts
- Driving locally-adapted innovative solutions in devices and materials
Read the full article, Post-Covid19, the New “Cool” on LinkedIn.