Virgin Group co-founder Richard Branson has invested $ 3 million in a new competition that will stimulate the production of more environmentally friendly air conditioners.
"The increase in energy consumption for cooling is a huge risk to reach our climate targets," said Branson, with the launch of the Global Cooling Award.
He also said he hoped the prize could "literally help save the world from the disaster it faces."
The prize is due at the time of the publication of the second report, which states that only the expansion of air conditioning could lead to a global temperature increase of half the year 2100.
– Richard Branson (@richardbranson) November 12, 2018
The Global Cooling Prize will stimulate innovation
The competition was announced with the Indian government, the Rocky Mountain Institute's Innovation and Non-profit Organization of the Global Clean Energy Initiative.
The Prize website notes that today's most advanced air conditioning technology has only reached 14% of its maximum theoretical efficiency, and most of them operate at less than 8%.
The prize aims to change it. This will require participating companies to develop air conditioning solutions with five times less impact on the climate than existing ones and can operate up to twice as much.
The following year, the prize will give USD 200,000 to 10 companies, contributing to the construction of prototypes. These prototypes will be tested in laboratories and apartments in India. The winner will receive at least USD 1 million.
Iain Campbell, Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, also said that the market is not returning for energy-efficient air conditioning equipment and is based on price-based competition.
Branson was optimistic that the market failure in the air conditioning industry could be eliminated and said that this prize could eliminate high R & D costs in this area, which is a barrier to entry.
"If we can disrupt the airline industry, where one Boeing 737 can cost north of $ 70 million, then I'm sure we can do this with air conditioning," he said.
Every summer it gets hotter and it's important for all people to have a cooler. Is there innovation that can help us keep cool without reducing the planet? Apply for the Global Cooling Award! https://t.co/oqzyopZVyQ pic.twitter.com/wxM2mOYZr4
– Eriks Solheims (@EriksSolheim) November 12, 2018
Big image: The number of air conditioning units worldwide is expected to increase
It is expected that the air conditioner is used to lower the temperature. A 2017 study estimated that up to 21% of all people, up to 74% of people could be exposed to lethal temperatures for at least 20 days a year.
In India, there is an especially rapid increase in installed air-conditioning equipment, with 1 billion air conditioners by 2050.
The global air-conditioning system is expected to increase from around 1.2 billion to 4.5 billion by the middle of the century.
Headline image credit: Kris Krüg