Green Cooling Initiative (GCI) III Project in Thailand and Asia
UPDATED on 24 March 2022
Rising temperatures, population growth, progressing urbanization and economic growth are driving up the demand for cooling. Refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) appliances or cooling technologies often use fluorinated gases (F-Gases, mainly Hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HFCs) with a high global warming potential (GWP) as refrigerants. Combined with low energy efficiency and carbon intensive energy production, the RAC or cooling sector causes significant and rising amounts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In Thailand, the cooling sector is important both from the perspective of emissions and its economic contribution, with the country being a production hub for cooling technologies. Currently, cooling technologies already account for approximately 50% of the country’s electric consumption and 20% of GHG emissions. The potential for mitigating GHG emissions in the cooling sector is significant and can be achieved by avoiding use of HFCs and increasing energy efficiency. While alternative technologies are already available, insufficient information and access to them still hinder many countries from shifting to climate-friendly cooling technologies. They also experience challenges with the lack of and outdated product safety standards and certification schemes for technicians.
The Green Cooling Initiative (GCI) is a global project promoting the use of natural refrigerants and increased energy efficiency – that is, the “green cooling approach” – in order to avoid and reduce the negative climate impact from the cooling sector. Currently in its third phase, the project supports partner countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Colombia and Honduras) in targeting the specific challenges they experience in shifting to green cooling technologies. At the same time, GCI III also aims to establish “regional hubs” that can promote exchange of knowledge and experience within regions, such as Thailand for Asia.
The project aims to strengthen the capacity of public and private actors for the green cooling approach and thereby support the transformation towards climate-friendly technologies in their countries and globally.
Thailand has already begun establishing production of green cooling technologies that use natural refrigerants and promote energy efficiency. It has also piloted financing mechanisms targeted at the cooling sector and enhanced the capacity development infrastructure for technicians in the sector. With the support of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), the global project Green Cooling Initiative(GCI) will support Thailand in continuing its “green cooling transformation”.
Activities in Thailand focus on enhancing end-user uptake of green cooling technologies and establishing a “green cooling community”. Based on challenges and opportunities specific to the country, GCI in Thailand has defined 3 key working streams:
Demonstration focuses on improving the availability and accessibility of information on the technical and economic feasibility of green cooling technologies based on demonstration projects as well as identifying opportunities to scale up the uptake of these technologies.
Sustainability of Training supports dialogue on sustainable skill advancement of technicians and experts in the cooling sector, ensuring that they are equipped for green cooling technologies and that end-users can rely on them.
GCI Network will harness knowledge products, expertise, and experience on green cooling and use them to establish and strengthen the green cooling community within the country and the region.
At the same time, GCI supports the launch and implementation of the “Cooling Innovation Fund” (CIF) of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), which aims to fund innovation in and upscaling of green cooling technologies. As a regional hub for GCI, Thailand will also lead and promote activities that enhance knowledge sharing on green cooling within the region.
The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP)