On 11 July, EPEE Director General Andrea Voigt participated in a panel debate organized by the World Bank in the framework of the OEWG 39 meetings in Bangkok. The event addressed the complementarities and potential of energy efficiency improvement and refrigerant replacement in practice.
The side event was chaired by Emilia Battaglini from the World Bank and panelists included Dr. Ajay Mathur (TERI), Dr. Ashok Sarkar (World Bank), Mr. Aroon Eamsureya (Federation of Thai Industries), Mr. J.M. Bhambure (Indian Refrigeration & Manufacturers Association), Dr. Radhey Agarwal (Ozone Operations Resource Group RAC expert) and Dr. Stephen Anderson (IGSD).
The panelists discussed the key practical challenges to integrating energy efficiency improvements with refrigerants conversions following Decision XXVIII/3 of the 28th Meeting of the Parties that has, for the first time, explicitly brought together the themes of energy efficiency and moving to lower GWP refrigerants under the umbrella of the Montreal Protocol. To support implementation, 18 philanthropic institutions came together to create the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme and pledged $52 million to help increase the energy efficiency of cooling in developing countries.
Andrea Voigt spoke about the case in the EU, where heating and cooling represents 50% of the annual energy consumption and 80% of the emissions from heating and cooling equipment are related to energy consumption. Therefore, a move to lower GWP refrigerants alone will not be enough to address this challenge.
Andrea reminded that, in the EU, product energy efficiency measures can lead to achievable energy savings equivalent to the primary energy consumption of Italy, and outlined several of the many opportunities for optimising energy efficiency in heating and cooling equipment such as the move towards inverters to address part load operation. She explained that one of the key challenges is getting the balance right between the different parameters and cost: products need to remain affordable for consumers, who will otherwise not invest in energy efficient equipment.
The key conclusions of the panel discussion included that communications to consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency is crucial and that a metric is needed to assess the benefits of energy efficiency and lower GWP refrigerants. It became clear that energy efficiency brings tremendous benefits for consumers, climate and business, which helps, by lowering energy demand, to achieve a move towards a low carbon and a renewable based energy system.
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