Focus on India

Air conditioning is spreading at a rapid pace. The first studies of ENERGYA have examined patterns and trends in developed countries, while current and future work will focus on four emerging economies: Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and India. These four countries are among the most populous on the planet, totaling almost two billions of people, and the most vulnerable in terms of cooling degree days – yet they are the least explored by researchers so far. 

These very hot countries, host 10 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the world, with per capita income, energy demand and urbanization growing at very high rates and projected to drive a wide adoption of AC among increasing shares of the population in the next decades.

AC penetration rate

While we are working on a comparative analysis of determinants of cooling adoption in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brasil, we are also deepening our knowledge of each country thanks to the collaboration of our country experts.  

In this blog, along with the scientific results from our research, we will also publish a selection of articles on how the cooling challenge can and should be tackled, based on the stories gathered during our trips in those countries. 

Our first journey starts in India, where we traveled to learn positive stories about cooling in a context where rapid urbanization is putting a lot of pressure on the development of new efficient buildings. Starting from February 2020, we will publish one interview per month, accompanied by a short comment from our team.

We will begin with Monish Siripurapu, an architect from Delhi who designs passive cooling devices for buildings , inspired by Indian traditional pottery.  This post will be followed by an interview with S.P.Garnaik, Chief General Manager at Energy Efficiency Services Limited, the nationally owned company breaking records to bring ultra-efficient devices to consumers, including ACs.

Sanjay Prakash, one of the most renowned architects dealing with passive and active cooling in India will explain to us the very different types of houses needed in each case, also depending on the climatic conditions.

Next, we will discuss the role of standards and certifications with respect to thermal comfort with Ms Shabnam Bassi, Associate Director at TERI GRIHA Council, the main Green Rating labeling system for buildings in India. 

The next month, Avikal Somwanshi, Programme Manager with the Sustainable Buildings and Habitat Programme at Center for Science and Environment – will give us a very interesting viewpoint on thermal comfort and access to cooling in India, an issue at the center of URBZ, an architecture  startup in Dharavi, where we also met the Ecological Urbanist Kareena Kochery.  

Lastly, prof. Rane, head of the Heat Pump Laboratory at IIT Bombay, walked us through the highly efficient cooling devices he has installed in his own habitation and which represents viable alternatives to classic energivore Air Conditioners