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Dr. Harsh Vardhan calls for developing innovative cooling solutions

New Delhi: Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed an Award Ceremony here today to announce the finalists of the ‘Global Cooling Prize’. He called for developing innovative cooling solutions which are energy efficient.  During the ceremony, he said energy efficient and climate friendly cooling solutions are the Government’s priority.

“We recognise the power of innovation to catalyse climate friendly development and growth.  Accordingly, we have bolstered our research, development and innovation efforts to further global climate agenda and strengthened our commitment to accelerate clean energy innovation so that it plays a key role in Mission Innovation.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said India has been leading from the front in the global campaign to tackle Global Warming and Climate Change. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had spelled out India’s agenda during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, He said. “In fact, the Mission Innovation programme was coined by Shri Narendra Modi,” he added.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the world today needs an extremely efficient cooling technology, a solution that can sustainably meet the comfort-cooling needs of our growing population without contributing to runaway climate change or costly stresses on already burdened electricity systems.

“It becomes even more relevant for a country like India which is on the path of economic growth and has relatively low penetration of air conditioning.  .  The Government recognises this need and is fully committed to provide “Thermal comfort for all” which has been articulated so well in the India Cooling Action Plan,” he said.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan hoped the finalists of the ‘Global Cooling Prize’ will deliver the prototypes having capability to deliver climate friendly solutions within the broad parameters of energy efficiency and costs.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary Department of Science and Technology (DST), said our goal is to cut carbon footprint by as much as 80 percent and reduce energy consumption by half. The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to India, Mr. Dominic Asquith also addressed the gathering.

During the ceremony, Dr. Harsh Vardhan presented Awards to the eight finalists of the GCP. The finalists are Daikin Air Conditioning India Pvt. Ltd., Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., and S&S Design Startup Solution Pvt. Ltd. – all three from India; M2 (Square) Thermal Solutions, Transaera Inc. and Kraton Corporation (in collaboration with IIT Bombay, Infosys and Porus Labs)- all three from the US; Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai, China; and Barocal Ltd of UK.

The eight selected teams showcased a wide range of technology ideas, from smart, hybrid designs of vapour compression technology to smart, hybrid designs of evaporative cooling to solid-state cooling technologies with application of low or no global warming potential refrigerants.

A global coalition led by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India; Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)— a leading global research institute; and Mission Innovation — a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation — launched the Global Cooling Prize in November, 2018 with the aim of spurring the development of a radically more efficient, climate-friendly residential cooling solution.

Innovation and new technologies in the cooling industry are especially crucial for India, Studies suggest that the cost to the Indian economy due to lost productivity from extreme heat could exceed $450 billion by 2030. While the household ownership of ACs in India today is a mere 7%, the demand for comfort cooling is expected to drive the total stock of room ACs in India to over 1 billion by 2050 — a 40-fold growth from 2016. Growth in the demand for cooling will be dramatic, particularly in urban areas, due to the underlying need for a solution to the problem of heat stress.

Since its launch, the Prize has received overwhelming international participation — over 2,100 participant registrations were received from innovators, start-ups, research institute, universities, and key Air Conditioning industry manufacturers in over 95 countries. Of these registered entities, 445 teams submitted their preliminary ideas and 139 teams from 31 countries around the globe followed through with their submission of the full Detailed Technical Application. The teams selected to go forth to the next round are being awarded US$ 200,000 each to develop their prototypes, which will then be tested in India in the summer of 2020.

The winner of the Global Cooling Prize will be announced in November, 2020 and awarded more than US$1 million in prize money.

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