India should provide incentives for manufacturers to make more efficient air conditioners and can even subsidise it for consumers, Fatih Birol, executive director of IEA told Business Standard. “The 2,500 gigawatt (GW )of global additional capacity is bigger than the total generating capacity of the United States, Europe and India combined today. India sees the biggest increase, given its large population and hot climate,” Birol added.
Globally, the total capacity needed to meet space-cooling demand, taking account of the variability of renewables-based generating capacity, is projected to jump 395 per cent from 850 GW in 2016 to 3,350 GW in 2050, the report said. Interestingly, Solar photovoltaic (PV) accounts for more than 835 GW, or one-third, of the generating capacity additions needed globally to meet the growth in cooling demand. “India is the biggest contributor, accounting for almost 40 per cent of the global solar PV capacity increase in the cooling space. India also drives nearly 60 per cent of the 300 GW increase in global coal capacity for cooling between 2016 and 2050,” it said.
However, the report states that an efficient cooling scenario can reduce the need to build new generation capacity to meet peak demand. “Worldwide, the need for an additional capacity of up to 2050 just to meet the demand from ACs is 1 300 gigawatts (GW) lower in the Efficient Cooling Scenario, the equivalent of all the coal-fired power generation capacity in China and India today,” it said.
It further added that because of lower electricity capacity due to efficiency, the investment need may be reduced over the period 2017-50, with India contributing $295 billion of a total of $1.2 bn, or over a quarter of the global investment savings.