Air Conditioners Current Affairs - 2020

UNEP and IEA Report: World will need at least 14 billion cooling appliances by 2050

The United Nations Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency released a report on “Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis”. The report cited benefits of cooling efficiency and Kigali Amendment report.

Highlights

The report says that by 2050, the world will need at least 14 billion cooling appliances. Currently, there are 3.6 billion appliances in use globally. This will significantly contribute to increase in temperature.

Why the increase?

The increase in cooling appliance will come due to the demand from the following sectors

  • Temperature controlled supply chain
  • Food Safety
  • Comfort and Luxury in domestic
  • Vaccines and medicines supply chain
  • Productivity

Concerns

The report says that the Air Conditioners use Hydrofluorocarbons that emit green house gases. Without correct policy interventions, the emissions from the air conditioning and refrigeration is to increase by 90% as compared to 2017 levels in 2050.

Solution

Energy Efficient Air Conditioners can help reduce energy requirement by 1,300 GW. This is equivalent to entire coal fired power generated in India and China in the year 2018.

Kigali Agreement

It is the amendment to the Montreal Protocol. It was signed in 2016 in Kigali. The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1985 to phase out hydrofluorocarbons. As of July 2020, 99 members and the European Union have ratified the agreement.

India

The recommendations made in the report resonate with Delhi based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

According to Ministry of power,

  • The production of Air conditioners in India grew by 13% since 2010
  • The demand for Air Conditioners are expected to grow by 15% per year between 2017 and 2027.

The Government of India has mandated 24°C as default temperature for ACs

GoI: 10 Sectors identified to cut imports

On June 3, 2020, the Department of Promotion for Industry and Internal Trade identified 10 sectors where in the imports are to be cut. This includes textiles, jewelry, mobile, gems, pharmaceuticals, garments, electronics, machinery, etc.

Highlights

The GoI has recently changed the set targets in order to become self-reliant in footwear, furniture and air conditioner. In parallel, the Government has also laid groundwork to become self-reliant in 10 other sectors.

Objectives

The Government has selected these 10 sectors in particular as India has natural advantage in these sectors. Hence, given a small push, these sectors have the potential of becoming the strength of the country.

The Government has made the decision of cutting imports to target the quality of domestically made products. Also, India will focus on increasing quality controls.

Imports in India

India imported 467.2 billion USD worth goods in the year 2019-20. Of this, leather and leather products amounted to 1.01 billion USD, machinery of 37.7 billion USD and machine tool imports of 4.2 billion USD.

The AC industry concern

The AC industry of India is largely dependent on imports, mainly imported compressors. These imports account to 60%-65% of AC production value.

What is the issue?

The Japanese split AC companies that are market leaders are taking advantage of India-ASEAN Free Trade Pact and importing from Vietnam and Thailand claiming to be registered in India. This is so common especially in new inverter category ACs.

Concerns of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

The steps of cutting imports and encouraging domestic manufacturing is being done under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. However, these steps may bring on certain issues. They are as follows

  • India might go back to Import Substitution Industrialization.
  • Trade Distortion. The prescribed limits of import duties of WTO may be crossed.
Import Substitution Industrialization

The ISI is criticized for the following

  • Only the consumer goods are boosted
  • The employment growth rate is slow
  • The productivity growth is minimal and the agriculture sector declined greatly
  • The internal migration increased.