Boom in Air Conditioners Worldwide Could Start An Environmental Crisis, Experts Say
Two-thirds of all American homes have an air conditioner. And now the rest of the world will be joining the trend with the growing boom in air conditioner installation globally.
As countries all over the world boom financially, they are able to provide electricity to areas of their nation that were often left to ride out the summer without air conditioning.
Take China, for example. Within the past 15 years alone, the nation went from just a couple percentage points of air conditioning to a penetration that exceeds 100%. That is a nation wide total average of more than one air conditioner per household.
Air conditioner sales are also rapidly increasing in India, Indonesia, and Brazil by 10 to 15% each year. Additionally, Mexico experienced tremendous growth, reporting an increase from 13% of homes having a system to 71 to 81%.
The Washington Post reports the U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz saying, “We expect that the demand for cooling as economies improve, particularly in hot climates, is going to be an incredible driver of electricity requirements.”
The Berkeley Report Project estimates that countries worldwide will install 700 million air conditioners by 2030 and a total of 1.6 billion units by 2050.
Even though this initiative will protect the health and safety of millions all over the world, all these air conditioners pose a significant threat to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental scientists worry that world energy use and emissions will only aggravate greenhouse gases worldwide. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency predicts that the crisis could come to a point around 2060, where the amount of energy used worldwide in cooling will bypass that used in heating.
For now, researchers all over the world are coming together to prevent this environmental downfall. They are working together to develop energy-efficient, climate-friendly, and cost-effective solutions.