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Sustainable cooling innovations being piloted for Indian hotels

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Cooling contributes to climate change by increasing demand for electricity, much of which is still generated from fossil fuels, and through leakage of refrigerants, which have a much higher global warming potential than CO2 emission. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that if left unchecked, emissions from cooling are expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2100, driven by heat waves, population growth, urbanization, and a growing middle class.

Sustainable cooling reduces food loss, poverty

India is one of the world’s fastest growing cooling markets, but conventional air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other cooling applications are highly expensive, consume large amounts of energy, and produce 7% of greenhouse gases globally. Efficient, affordable and sustainable cooling can help alleviate poverty, reduce food loss, improve health, manage energy demand and combat climate change. This approach has the potential to advance the internationally agreed goals of the Paris Climate Agreement; the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment.
Halving food loss with refrigeration and food cold chains could feed about 1 billion undernourished people. There are investment opportunities in bringing sustainable cooling solutions to market, and there are cost-saving opportunities in commercial and industrial facilities by installing efficient cooling equipment.

6 innovators chosen

Now, six innovators have been selected to partner with Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), to pilot new cost-effective, climate-smart cooling technologies, as part of IFC’s TechEmerge programme. IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. They work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.
The selected innovators are Paharpur Cooling Towers, IOTomation Ecotech, Green Efficient Solutions, Desiccant Rotors International, and Zenatix Solutions from India, and Elgressy Engineering Services from Israel. They will pilot their new space-cooling solutions at seven Taj hotels over the next 12-18 months, supported by a pool of up to $500,000 in total grant funding.

TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling Innovation Programme

IFC’s TechEmerge Sustainable Cooling Innovation Programme, which is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Finance (ICF), matches innovators across the world with leading companies in emerging markets to accelerate the adoption of solutions that make cooling more affordable and energy-efficient, while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
“Congratulations to Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) and its innovation partners for piloting more affordable and efficient cooling technologies,” said Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India. “This is an essential step for reducing emissions and delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26.” Says Wendy Werner, India Country Head at IFC, “Sustainable cooling is not a luxury but a necessity for managing energy demand and equitable energy access. It has far-reaching impacts on health and economic prosperity—while tackling the clear and present challenge of climate change. Through programmes like TechEmerge, IFC supports private sector innovation to pave the way for scalable and cutting-edge cooling solutions, driving climate action and resilience across India and the region.”
In addition to funding, the TechEmerge Programme also provides advisory support throughout field testing to help innovators mitigate financial and operational risks, reduce adoption risks for local firms, and facilitate market-entry and tech transfer. If the pilots are successful, IHCL and innovators may decide to enter commercial partnerships.