DPIIT in alliance with World Bank hosts “Alleviating Heat stress by Enhancing production of Affordable cooling Devices (AHEAD)" Consultation Workshop

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry in alliance with the World Bank, with support of the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEFCC), and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) successfully hosted the “Alleviating Heat stress by Enhancing production of Affordable cooling Devices (AHEAD)” consultation workshop today at Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi. This landmark event, drawing over 100 industry and other stakeholders, marks a pivotal step towards fortifying India against intensifying heat waves through sustainable and affordable cooling solutions. This was the first ever industry-led workshop that recognized cooling as an important climate adaptation issue.

The workshop recognized explicitly the need for cost-effective, domestically-led technologies for ensuring affordability that will cater to the large India population that will require cooling. The workshop also emphasized India’s commitment to climate mitigation and its goal to emerge as a global leader in sustainable and affordable cooling technologies. Sessions delved into manufacturing of space cooling, cold chain technologies, and district cooling systems. Key discussions, led by industry experts, policymakers, and academics, centered on leveraging these technologies to address heat stress to ensure public welfare, spur economic growth through domestic manufacturing and reduce carbon emissions.

Increased global warming, growing Indian economy, increased purchase power is likely to increase growth in overall cooling demand by 10 times in next two decades. The cooling interventions have the opportunity to save 4.5% of GDP, i.e., nearly 329 billion USD which could be at risk by 2030 due to heat waves. The current cold chain for agriculture produce is only 4% of the requirement and increasing the cold chain can help preserve more agriculture produce. In addition, space cooling solutions will increase labour productivity and also reduce spoilage of temperature sensitive medicines.

At present India spends nearly a billion USD in 2022-23 of foreign exchange on importing cooling device components. Given the fact that India is poised to grow by over 10 times in the next two decades, it is in India’s interest to produce them locally and perhaps move on to become a global hub for producing cooling devices.

A key focus was on overcoming domestic manufacturing challenges and exploring innovative policy and financing strategies. The aim is to meet the growing demand for cooling technology and position India as a Global Manufacturing Hub. Adopting global good practices can help India to make them in India. Carrying out Research & Development and producing to derive higher quality and performing cooling devices can give edge to India being a global hub for cooling devices. The workshop also highlighted the potential for catalyzing investments and generating green jobs in the cooling sector.

Secretary, DPIIT, Shri R.K. Singh noted the cross-cutting nature of cooling. He indicated that the Ministry will lead in taking forward the workshop outcomes with the World Bank Group and other stakeholders to formulate a tangible program for implementation.  

Country Director for India, World Bank, Mr. Auguste Tano Kouame, noted that cooling is an important adaptation challenge for India’s large population, and, at the same time, it is important for climate mitigation for the world at large. The growing cooling sector in India provides a USD 1.6 Trillion investment opportunity and an expanded domestic manufacturing base will play a key role to tap this opportunity.

Session 1 on Space cooling witnessed a great exchange of insights shared by industry leaders represented by Mr. Thiagarajan from BlueStar, Mr. Pradeep Bakshi from Voltas, Mr. Sudheer Perla from Tabreed, Ms. Simmi Sareen from Climake, Prof. Venkataratnam from IIT, Madras and Shri Girja Shanker from EESL. This space cooling panel discussion was focused on Compressors for ACs and permanent magnets and motor drivers for BLDC fans identified as critical components among others to scale up local manufacturing, Explore including R&D in the incentivization process to cultivate sustainable and affordable technologies to leapfrog to a more affordable and sustainable cooling. R&D could focus on Low carbon footprint refrigerants, innovations in heat exchangers and new materials and use of AI to drive efficiency.

Session 2 on Cold chain fostered a great exchange of insights shared by industry leaders represented by Mr. Neeraj Narula from Danfoss, Mr. Sarfaraz Khan from Snowman Logistics, Mr. Vikas Taneja from Panasonic, Mr. Devendra Gupta from Ecozen and Mr. Pran Saurabh from EESL. The main highlights from the cold chain panel discussion are: Cold chain is an important link in ensuring the food and health security of the country, cold chain consumes more energy than space cooling. Multiple challenges impacting the adoption of newer and sustainable technologies that are available as high capex requirements and upfront capital for cold chain infrastructure makes it difficult to breakeven for around 15 years, Lack of appropriate standards on technology and operations and Lack of adequate demand from end consumers and value chain players.

DG, BEE, Shri Abhay Bakre emphasized on the need for replacing older (more than 8 years) Air Conditioners with modern and efficient (5 Star rated) cooling systems. This should ensure substantial reduction in CO2 emission by 2030-31. He also emphasized on promotion of Cold Chain technologies which is primarily product specific as well as promoting the concept of District cooling System. Appropriate policy support could be designed based on aggregation of demand, Scaling up of production and finding technology solutions.

At the end, Joint Secretary, DPIIT, Shri Sanjiv thanked the industry leaders for providing relevant and timely insights on what could be done to encourage domestic manufacturing of sustainable cooling devices and components. These inputs will surely be explored in letter and spirit to collectively make India a global hub for manufacturing of sustainable cooling devices. In this context, the name of the program – AHEAD seems very apt for all the stakeholders to collectively work towards making India a global powerhouse of sustainable and affordable cooling devices and components.

This consultation signifies a critical moment in India’s pursuit of an eco-friendly and self-sufficient cooling technology sector, steering towards a sustainable future.




Source PIB