Renewable power of 2050 will be powering air conditioners

The world has about 3.5 billion cooling appliances (fridges and air conditioners). That number is projected to grow to about 9.5 billion cooling appliances by 2050. If we actually want to deliver cooling for all, with no one left behind, if we want to address all the challenges and the problems of heatwaves and people dying from heat, if we want to address the issue of cold chains, if we want to address the issue of vaccines, that number could actually grow to about 14 billion units.

The world uses 3,600TWh of energy for cooling load today and will grow to about 9,500TWh by 2050. More efficient cooling technologies which we are aware of today might enable cooling with 7,500TWh. If we do cooling for all then we would use 19,000TWh. Even with best-case technology, somewhere around 15,000TWh.

Renewable power including hydroelectric power and biofuels is below.

All of the IEA [International Energy Agency] projections of renewable energy could be used for cooling alone by 2050.

55 thoughts on “Renewable power of 2050 will be powering air conditioners”

  1. Well, I’d start with superinsulation/passive-houses and follow with well thought-about shading and windows which reflect infrared and excess light that warms the building. Also urban areas in general should reflect (or store) heat when it’s hot and not when it isn’t by designing the environment we live in better. As for renewable air conditioning. As far as I know that already exists. There’s a lot of excess heat collected by solar collectors in a heatwave that could run an air conditioning system.

    Reply
  2. Well I’d start with superinsulation/passive-houses and follow with well thought-about shading and windows which reflect infrared and excess light that warms the building. Also urban areas in general should reflect (or store) heat when it’s hot and not when it isn’t by designing the environment we live in better.As for renewable air conditioning. As far as I know that already exists. There’s a lot of excess heat collected by solar collectors in a heatwave that could run an air conditioning system.

    Reply
  3. I don’t know, but I was in the old city in Athens before the economic bubble burst there and every little shop had an AC blasting away and the streets outside where intolerable because of the heat introduced there. That’s got to be far less than optimal because you are running AC because it’s intolerable outside yet it’s intolerable outside because you are running an AC. Wouldn’t city wide cooling be a idea to try? The city has big cooling towers set towers set up in a remote area and they pump a chilled refrigerant into the city where the people can run it through heat exchangers to meet their cooing needs.

    Reply
  4. I don’t know but I was in the old city in Athens before the economic bubble burst there and every little shop had an AC blasting away and the streets outside where intolerable because of the heat introduced there. That’s got to be far less than optimal because you are running AC because it’s intolerable outside yet it’s intolerable outside because you are running an AC. Wouldn’t city wide cooling be a idea to try? The city has big cooling towers set towers set up in a remote area and they pump a chilled refrigerant into the city where the people can run it through heat exchangers to meet their cooing needs.

    Reply
  5. It corrodes copper and copper alloys. It’s also slightly toxic and flammable (it can even explode at an air concentration of 15-28%.)

    Reply
  6. It corrodes copper and copper alloys. It’s also slightly toxic and flammable (it can even explode at an air concentration of 15-28{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}.)

    Reply
  7. Trump is also a moron. He claims to understand business, but didn’t know what the time value of money was. The reality is natural gas, wind, and solar are all cheaper than coal today. As a result, coal for electric power has dropped from 50 to 28% in the US since 2007. The profit motive trumps what Donnie wants, and power companies are driven by profit.

    Reply
  8. Trump is also a moron. He claims to understand business but didn’t know what the time value of money was. The reality is natural gas wind and solar are all cheaper than coal today. As a result coal for electric power has dropped from 50 to 28{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} in the US since 2007. The profit motive trumps what Donnie wants and power companies are driven by profit.

    Reply
  9. it’s like one of those “steam smokestack” pics from a power plant. Alarmist. AC units like that (eg apartment buildings without central air) are what makes life and the economy possible in the hot climates. Central air is more expensive than portables so it is also an affordability issue.

    Reply
  10. it’s like one of those steam smokestack”” pics from a power plant. Alarmist. AC units like that (eg apartment buildings without central air) are what makes life and the economy possible in the hot climates. Central air is more expensive than portables so it is also an affordability issue.”””

    Reply
  11. what a silly article – Brian I am disappointed. Non-hydro power is about 7% of global electricity generation and the EIA expects it to rise to 15% by 2040. Hydro will not grow materially because all the potential hydro sources are already covered, more or less. So that leaves solar and wind picking up the bulk of the 15%. the places where population is growing and where you need Aircon is not where there is enough solar or wind and you pretty much want to have the Aircon working all the time. So there is a huge “if” that renewables will work IF storage tech will be affordable by then and IF other energy sources aren’t better and cheaper by then, and IF you can build out the infrastructure. I’ll add another IF. IF nuclear power generates 95% of all power by 2040 then nearly all AC will run on nuclear power. btw the chart is wrong, petroleum was omitted as was nuclear, and hydro wasn’t pulled out of renewables so it’s completely misleading.

    Reply
  12. what a silly article – Brian I am disappointed. Non-hydro power is about 7{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of global electricity generation and the EIA expects it to rise to 15{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} by 2040. Hydro will not grow materially because all the potential hydro sources are already covered more or less. So that leaves solar and wind picking up the bulk of the 15{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. the places where population is growing and where you need Aircon is not where there is enough solar or wind and you pretty much want to have the Aircon working all the time. So there is a huge if”” that renewables will work IF storage tech will be affordable by then and IF other energy sources aren’t better and cheaper by then”” and IF you can build out the infrastructure.I’ll add another IF. IF nuclear power generates 95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of all power by 2040 then nearly all AC will run on nuclear power. btw the chart is wrong petroleum was omitted as was nuclear”” and hydro wasn’t pulled out of renewables so it’s completely misleading.”””

    Reply
  13. Jesus, Brian. This reminds me of Stephen King’s fantasy of The Gunslinger and the Dark tower, where a fallen civilization (many earths), had a deep water pump in the “Mohaine” desert, and the pump was powered by “a slug of plutonium.” Ah! Thorium 232/U233 pellets powering a window air condition for 2 centuries! What a concept! Solar? Ok, wind? Why not?

    Reply
  14. Jesus Brian. This reminds me of Stephen King’s fantasy of The Gunslinger and the Dark tower where a fallen civilization (many earths) had a deep water pump in the Mohaine”” desert”””” and the pump was powered by “”””a slug of plutonium.”””” Ah! Thorium 232/U233 pellets powering a window air condition for 2 centuries! What a concept! Solar? Ok”””” wind? Why not?”””

    Reply
  15. Well, I’d start with superinsulation/passive-houses and follow with well thought-about shading and windows which reflect infrared and excess light that warms the building. Also urban areas in general should reflect (or store) heat when it’s hot and not when it isn’t by designing the environment we live in better. As for renewable air conditioning. As far as I know that already exists. There’s a lot of excess heat collected by solar collectors in a heatwave that could run an air conditioning system.

    Reply
  16. Well I’d start with superinsulation/passive-houses and follow with well thought-about shading and windows which reflect infrared and excess light that warms the building. Also urban areas in general should reflect (or store) heat when it’s hot and not when it isn’t by designing the environment we live in better.As for renewable air conditioning. As far as I know that already exists. There’s a lot of excess heat collected by solar collectors in a heatwave that could run an air conditioning system.

    Reply
  17. I don’t know, but I was in the old city in Athens before the economic bubble burst there and every little shop had an AC blasting away and the streets outside where intolerable because of the heat introduced there. That’s got to be far less than optimal because you are running AC because it’s intolerable outside yet it’s intolerable outside because you are running an AC. Wouldn’t city wide cooling be a idea to try? The city has big cooling towers set towers set up in a remote area and they pump a chilled refrigerant into the city where the people can run it through heat exchangers to meet their cooing needs.

    Reply
  18. I don’t know but I was in the old city in Athens before the economic bubble burst there and every little shop had an AC blasting away and the streets outside where intolerable because of the heat introduced there. That’s got to be far less than optimal because you are running AC because it’s intolerable outside yet it’s intolerable outside because you are running an AC. Wouldn’t city wide cooling be a idea to try? The city has big cooling towers set towers set up in a remote area and they pump a chilled refrigerant into the city where the people can run it through heat exchangers to meet their cooing needs.

    Reply
  19. It corrodes copper and copper alloys. It’s also slightly toxic and flammable (it can even explode at an air concentration of 15-28%.)

    Reply
  20. It corrodes copper and copper alloys. It’s also slightly toxic and flammable (it can even explode at an air concentration of 15-28{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}.)

    Reply
  21. Trump is also a moron. He claims to understand business, but didn’t know what the time value of money was. The reality is natural gas, wind, and solar are all cheaper than coal today. As a result, coal for electric power has dropped from 50 to 28% in the US since 2007. The profit motive trumps what Donnie wants, and power companies are driven by profit.

    Reply
  22. Trump is also a moron. He claims to understand business but didn’t know what the time value of money was. The reality is natural gas wind and solar are all cheaper than coal today. As a result coal for electric power has dropped from 50 to 28{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} in the US since 2007. The profit motive trumps what Donnie wants and power companies are driven by profit.

    Reply
  23. it’s like one of those “steam smokestack” pics from a power plant. Alarmist. AC units like that (eg apartment buildings without central air) are what makes life and the economy possible in the hot climates. Central air is more expensive than portables so it is also an affordability issue.

    Reply
  24. it’s like one of those steam smokestack”” pics from a power plant. Alarmist. AC units like that (eg apartment buildings without central air) are what makes life and the economy possible in the hot climates. Central air is more expensive than portables so it is also an affordability issue.”””

    Reply
  25. what a silly article – Brian I am disappointed. Non-hydro power is about 7% of global electricity generation and the EIA expects it to rise to 15% by 2040. Hydro will not grow materially because all the potential hydro sources are already covered, more or less. So that leaves solar and wind picking up the bulk of the 15%. the places where population is growing and where you need Aircon is not where there is enough solar or wind and you pretty much want to have the Aircon working all the time. So there is a huge “if” that renewables will work IF storage tech will be affordable by then and IF other energy sources aren’t better and cheaper by then, and IF you can build out the infrastructure. I’ll add another IF. IF nuclear power generates 95% of all power by 2040 then nearly all AC will run on nuclear power. btw the chart is wrong, petroleum was omitted as was nuclear, and hydro wasn’t pulled out of renewables so it’s completely misleading.

    Reply
  26. what a silly article – Brian I am disappointed. Non-hydro power is about 7{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of global electricity generation and the EIA expects it to rise to 15{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} by 2040. Hydro will not grow materially because all the potential hydro sources are already covered more or less. So that leaves solar and wind picking up the bulk of the 15{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12}. the places where population is growing and where you need Aircon is not where there is enough solar or wind and you pretty much want to have the Aircon working all the time. So there is a huge if”” that renewables will work IF storage tech will be affordable by then and IF other energy sources aren’t better and cheaper by then”” and IF you can build out the infrastructure.I’ll add another IF. IF nuclear power generates 95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of all power by 2040 then nearly all AC will run on nuclear power. btw the chart is wrong petroleum was omitted as was nuclear”” and hydro wasn’t pulled out of renewables so it’s completely misleading.”””

    Reply
  27. Well, I’d start with superinsulation/passive-houses and follow with well thought-about shading and windows which reflect infrared and excess light that warms the building. Also urban areas in general should reflect (or store) heat when it’s hot and not when it isn’t by designing the environment we live in better.
    As for renewable air conditioning. As far as I know that already exists. There’s a lot of excess heat collected by solar collectors in a heatwave that could run an air conditioning system.

    Reply
  28. I don’t know, but I was in the old city in Athens before the economic bubble burst there and every little shop had an AC blasting away and the streets outside where intolerable because of the heat introduced there. That’s got to be far less than optimal because you are running AC because it’s intolerable outside yet it’s intolerable outside because you are running an AC. Wouldn’t city wide cooling be a idea to try? The city has big cooling towers set towers set up in a remote area and they pump a chilled refrigerant into the city where the people can run it through heat exchangers to meet their cooing needs.

    Reply
  29. Jesus, Brian. This reminds me of Stephen King’s fantasy of The Gunslinger and the Dark tower, where a fallen civilization (many earths), had a deep water pump in the “Mohaine” desert, and the pump was powered by “a slug of plutonium.” Ah! Thorium 232/U233 pellets powering a window air condition for 2 centuries! What a concept! Solar? Ok, wind? Why not?

    Reply
  30. Jesus Brian. This reminds me of Stephen King’s fantasy of The Gunslinger and the Dark tower where a fallen civilization (many earths) had a deep water pump in the Mohaine”” desert”””” and the pump was powered by “”””a slug of plutonium.”””” Ah! Thorium 232/U233 pellets powering a window air condition for 2 centuries! What a concept! Solar? Ok”””” wind? Why not?”””

    Reply
  31. Trump is also a moron. He claims to understand business, but didn’t know what the time value of money was. The reality is natural gas, wind, and solar are all cheaper than coal today. As a result, coal for electric power has dropped from 50 to 28% in the US since 2007. The profit motive trumps what Donnie wants, and power companies are driven by profit.

    Reply
  32. it’s like one of those “steam smokestack” pics from a power plant. Alarmist. AC units like that (eg apartment buildings without central air) are what makes life and the economy possible in the hot climates. Central air is more expensive than portables so it is also an affordability issue.

    Reply
  33. what a silly article – Brian I am disappointed. Non-hydro power is about 7% of global electricity generation and the EIA expects it to rise to 15% by 2040. Hydro will not grow materially because all the potential hydro sources are already covered, more or less. So that leaves solar and wind picking up the bulk of the 15%. the places where population is growing and where you need Aircon is not where there is enough solar or wind and you pretty much want to have the Aircon working all the time. So there is a huge “if” that renewables will work IF storage tech will be affordable by then and IF other energy sources aren’t better and cheaper by then, and IF you can build out the infrastructure.

    I’ll add another IF. IF nuclear power generates 95% of all power by 2040 then nearly all AC will run on nuclear power.

    btw the chart is wrong, petroleum was omitted as was nuclear, and hydro wasn’t pulled out of renewables so it’s completely misleading.

    Reply
  34. Jesus, Brian. This reminds me of Stephen King’s fantasy of The Gunslinger and the Dark tower, where a fallen civilization (many earths), had a deep water pump in the “Mohaine” desert, and the pump was powered by “a slug of plutonium.” Ah! Thorium 232/U233 pellets powering a window air condition for 2 centuries! What a concept! Solar? Ok, wind? Why not?

    Reply

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