Government of India’s Ministry of science and technology, along with Mission Innovation and Richard Branson founded nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, has launched The Global Cooling Prize, a two-year-long international competition prized at US$3 million to find breakthrough innovations in cooling technology and in particularly residential cooling technology.
According to a report, released by Rocky Mountain Institute at the launch, growing economies like India, China, and other south-east Asian countries, people tend to make three major purchases first: a TV, a refrigerator, and an air conditioner (AC). The number of AC units are projected to grow massively from today’s 1.2 billion worldwide to 4.5 billion by 2050, and according the report household AC units alone, could push global warming up half a degree by the end of the century.
Calling all RAC manufacturers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, or start-ups to apply and join the revolution to provide cooling to all — without warming the planet — The Global Cooling Prize competition is designed to provide an incentive to create higher-efficiency air conditioners and support startups in a field that’s currently dominated by a handful of major corporations.
A winning technology could prevent up to 100 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050, and put the world on a pathway to mitigate up to 0.5˚C of global warming by 2100, according to the report.
To participate, companies/startups need to submit a solution that has five times less climate impact than a standard air conditioner, at no more than twice the cost, so it has a payback period of less than four years.
Over US$3 million will be awarded over the course of the two-year competition.
Up to 10 short-listed competing technologies will be awarded up to $200,000 each in intermediate prizes to support the design and prototype development of their innovative residential cooling technology designs. The winning technology will be awarded at least $1 million to support its incubation and early-stage commercialization.
The prize is supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Government of India and Mission Innovation (MI) — a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union for clean energy innovation, and will be administered by Rocky Mountain Institute, Conservation X Labs, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy, and CEPT University. The Prize coalition will help identify the innovative cooling technology and support incubation, commercialization, and ultimately mass adoption around the world.
Besides India’s DST, its partner organisations will also support the competition, and these include Ministry of Power, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, .
This global collaboration of India will drive and support incubation, commercialization, and ultimately mass adoption of the breakthrough technology, starting in India and expanding to other countries around the world.
“A technology developed through the Global Cooling Prize has the opportunity to capture a US$20 billion market and transform the global market for the better,” said Iain Campbell, Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute.
It may also be recalled that in February this year, science & technology minister Harsh Vardhan had announced that the ministry is planning to launch India’s first international incubator to promote innovation in the field of clean energy and provide opportunities to innovators across the MI countries to test their technologies in the local market.
According to a latest World Bank report, “Rising temperatures and changing monsoon rainfall patterns from climate change could cost India 2.8 percent of GDP and depress the living standards of nearly half the country’s population by 2050.”
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