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Selections From China’s Cooling Roadmap Research To Be Included in National Catalogue for Low-Carbon Technologies

According to estimates by the International Institute of Refrigeration, carbon emissions associated with the coolling sector are about 4.14 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year, or 7.8 percent of the total global GHG emissions. Thirty-seven percent of these impacts on global warming come from emissions or leakage of fluorinated refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons, while the remaining 63 percent come from indirect emissions from the power generation process which provides the electricity needed for refrigeration systems. Promoting the transition to a greener cooling sector with fluorinated refrigerants controlled and reduced will directly contribute to the achievement of China’s dual goals of carbon peaking and neutrality.

With the support of Energy Foundation China, CECEP Consulting Co., Ltd. completed a research report recently summarizing green and efficient cooling technologies in China and presenting a roadmap for zero-carbon cooling solutions. Based on a comprehensive overview of zero-carbon and high-efficiency cooling technologies, this report carries out an in-depth analysis of the technical, standard, and cost challenges facing China’s green, high-efficiency products in the international market, and puts forward targeted policy recommendations on standards, regulations, and other relevant policymaking. After that, the report proposes a roadmap for China’s green and efficient cooling technologies, including routes for refrigerant replacement, development routes for cooling product systems and components, and zero-carbon cooling technology solutions under different timespans and policy requirements.

As the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter of cooling products and hydrofluorocarbons, China officially began to implement the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on September 15, 2021. Many challenges and technical bottlenecks—such as the relatively high safety risk of alternative refrigerants, the low market acceptance, incomplete standard and regulation systems, etc.—need to be overcome for the realization of the sector’s dual carbon goals, as well as the implementation of the Kigali Amendment. The first research in this topic in China, this report identifies the cooling technologies needed for the future, laying a solid foundation for accelerated technical research, development, and adoptation.

Based on the research, the project team has also selected a batch of cooling technologies with great emission reduction potentials, as well as economic, environmental, and social benefits. As part of non-carbon dioxide mitigation technologies, for the first time they are set to be added into the National Catalogue of Key Low-Carbon Energy Technologies for Promotion, and also included in China’s Ecological & Environmental Technology Transformation Platform. The inclusion helps promote more targeted financial, taxation, and other enabling policies for the development of efficient cooling technologies while facilitating broader scale-up efforts, such as pilots and demonstrations, for zero-carbon cooling solutions in China.

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