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Cooling is all around us. Our food and drinks can’t get produced, transported or shelfed without it. Our industry would stop running, data centres would stop processing and working and living would get unbearable. Yet ‘cooling’ is in many discussions and considerations less than a little sibling of heating. Even when just looking at the built environment, the numbers speak a clear and alarming language.
A recent JRC study found that the potential cooling demand in the residential sector could increase by factor 10 by 2050 causing an additional capacity demand of 210 GW. Moreover, a Swiss study has just shown that when using the current building codes, space cooling demand could surpass heating demand by 2050.
It is time to bring cooling to the core of the debate! Since we actually have a lot of great solutions at hand:adjusting construction codes, using passive measures such as shading or simply trees, using best available technologies and not least rolling-out district cooling can help to dramatically cut the primary energy demand for cooling services. Heat Roadmap Europe 4, one of Europe’s lead projects on future energy demands and how to meet them in a sustainable manner, estimates that only 20% of the relevant cooling demand would be covered by cooling networks in 2050.
We are already seeing major developments across Europe, be it in France, Sweden, Estonia and in many other countries. By linking natural cooling, the use of waste heat or heat from DH grids, surplus electricity, intelligent storage solutions and the well-established knowledge about thermal networks, Europe’s cities use their local resources wisely, save substantial amounts of CO2, and – not to forget – take loads of pressure from the electricity grid.
District Cooling is an intriguing solution that offers plenty of advantages. Time to learn more about it! Join us on Monday November 5 at 14:00 for our upcoming CELSIUS Talk on Clean cold for cool cities (for more information click here), and don’t miss this year’s CELSIUS Summit – click here to register!
Ingo Wagner, Policy Manager at Euroheat & Power