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‘Global cooling prize’ launched to develop cooling technologies

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 12, 2018 Published on November 12, 2018

File Photo - Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan   -  Shanker Chakravarty

The Ministry of science and technology on Monday instituted a new prize for innovative cooling technologies that could reduce the climate impact of Residential Air Conditioning (RAC) at least by five times.

Called Global Cooling Prize, the award carries a total prize money of $3 million and this would be given away over two years. Up to 10 short-listed competing technologies will be awarded up to $200,000 each in intermediate prizes to support the design and prototype development of their innovative residential cooling technology designs. The winning technology will be awarded at least $1 million to support its incubation and early-stage commercialisation, a statement said.

The winning technology is expected to prevent up to 100 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by 2050 and put the world on a pathway to mitigate up to 0.5 degree Celsius warming by the turn of the next century.

The prize was announced by Harsh Vardhan, Minister for science, technology and environment. He hoped innovators to rise to this global challenge to develop a super-efficient technology, which provides access to affordable cooling to people around the world.

There are currently 1.2 billion room air conditioning units in service around the world. It is estimated that the number of units will increase to at least 4.5 billion by 2050. India alone will see over 1 billion air conditioning deployed in the market by 2050. The energy consumption associated with comfort cooling represents one of the largest end-use risks to the climate, putting the most vulnerable populations at risk, the statement said.

Apart from Mission Innovation -- a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union for clean energy innovation, the prize is supported by the Department of Science and Technology and its partner organisations such as Ministry of Power, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It will be administered by a coalition of leading research institutes — Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Conservation X Labs, the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), and CEPT University.

The coalition will drive and support incubation, commercialisation, and ultimately mass adoption of the breakthrough technology, starting in India and expanding to other countries around the world, it said.

Iain Campbell, Senior Fellow at Rocky Mountain Institute said, “The Global Cooling Prize will shine a spotlight on the need for innovation and help create an environment where innovation can succeed making it a perfect time for those with new technologies to challenge the status quo. A technology developed through the Global Cooling Prize has the opportunity to capture a $20 billion market and transform the global AC market for the better.”

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Published on November 12, 2018
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