Synopsis: The demand for cooling appliances is bound to grow in the future to keep citizens healthy and productive. Thus, Energy Efficient homes will be the key to make India a low carbon economy.
- In the last three decades, India experienced 660 heat waves which caused 12,273 deaths.
- These intense heat waves are expected to rise with a rise in global temperatures due to climate change.
- This rising frequency and growing intensity of heat waves are resulting in increased demand for cooling in Indian homes.
- The growing demand for cooling will make India the world’s largest energy user for cooling, but this area has not gained much significance in Indian homes.
Why India needs energy-efficient cooling in Indian homes?
- Firstly, it is going to play a huge role in India’s adaptation to climate change.
- Secondly, energy inefficiency in Indian homes cooling system will have disastrous effects on mitigation efforts taken by India to curb Greenhouse gas emissions.
- The India Cooling Action Plan projects the number of room air conditioners to become about four times in the next 10 years, and about 10 times in the next 20 years.
- Thirdly, large-scale adoption of efficient cooling appliances is essential to achieve a low carbon economy as per the Paris climate deal.
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Why Energy efficiency in homes remains underexplored in India?
- Firstly, there is a lack of data regarding consumer’s preference for energy-efficient cooling systems.
- For example, how and why people make their purchase decisions.
- Secondly, the implications of an increase in residential cooling demand have not been carefully examined by policymakers in India.
- For instance, the factors which will determine the extent of future cooling demand have no empirical evidence.
- Thirdly, energy efficiency does not feature as a priority in the purchase of cooling appliances.
- For instance, only 7% of the households have an energy-efficient (star-rated) fan, and 88% of the coolers are locally assembled.
- Fourthly, there is a lack of awareness about energy efficiency.
- For example, one-third of the households are unaware of the Star Labelling program.
- It is a government programme mandatory for refrigerators and air conditioners.
- Lastly, there is the higher upfront cost and low market availability for energy-efficient appliances.
- Investment in cooling technologies, infrastructure is required to lock in energy-efficient consumption patterns.
- Awareness campaigns should be conducted on energy efficiency.
- Subsidies and financial incentives are needed to drive up the adoption of more efficient technologies.
- Efficient building designs can also help in reducing dependence on energy-intensive cooling technologies.
Indian homes can play a major role to achieve net-zero emissions but along with the usage of energy-efficient technologies, there is a need to promote alternative cooling strategies.
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Source: The Hindu