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Latest Working Paper: Modelling Long Term HFC Emissions from India's Residential Air-Conditioning Sector
15 Jul 2014

In this paper, Vaibhav Chaturvedi and Mohit Sharma have explored energy and global warming implications of transition to alternative refrigerants, implementation of best practices, and adoption of a sustainable lifestyle. The complete paper can be read here.


India's growing role in the global climate debate makes it imperative to analyse emission reduction policies and strategies across range of greenhouse gases, especially for under researched non-CO2 gases. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are high global warming potential (GWP) non-CO2 short-lived climate forcers. HFC usage in cooling equipment and subsequent emissions are expected to increase dramatically in India with the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as coolants in air-conditioning equipment. We focus on the residential air conditioner (AC) sector in India and analyse a suite of HFC and alternative coolant gas scenarios for understanding the implications for GHG emissions from this sector. We find that if unabated, HFC410A emissions will contribute to 32% of the total global warming impact from the residential AC sector in India in 2050, irrespective of future economic growth trajectory, rest 68% is from energy to power residential ACs.

A move towards more efficient, low GWP alternative refrigerants will significantly reduce the global warming footprint of this sector by 31-38% during the period 2010-50, due to gains both from energy efficiency as well as low GWP alternatives. Best practices for reducing direct emissions are important but only of limited utility, and if a sustainable lifestyle is adopted by consumers with lower floorspace, low GWP refrigerants, and higher building envelop efficiencies, cumulative emissions during 2010-50 can be reduced by 46% compared to the Reference scenario. We conclude by highlighting that there undoubtedly is a need to move away from high GWP refrigerants towards alternative gases. Additionally we also show that energy efficiency improvements achieved during this transition will have a significant effect on reducing the indirect emissions from this growing sector. This analysis is particularly timely because Amendments are proposed to control HFC production and consumption under the Montreal Protocol as a complement to the current control of HFC emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

For more details: Modelling Long Term HFC Emissions from India's Residential Air-Conditioning Sector

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