The People’s Republic of China had the fastest growth in space cooling energy consumption worldwide in the last two decades, driven by increasing income and growing demand for thermal comfort. This report, prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Tsinghua University Building Energy Research Center (BERC), explores the principal trends and challenges related to this rapid growth, looking into existing market developments, policies, technology choices and occupant behaviour in buildings in China. It then looks at how cooling demand in buildings might evolve over the next decade to 2030 and considers what China can do to ensure greater cooling comfort without parallel growth in energy consumption and related emissions. The report recommends raising energy performance standards for cooling equipment, tapping into building design opportunities, and ensuring that “part time” and “part space” behaviour remains the principal cooling mode in buildings. These strategies, among others, will reduce the impact of rising cooling demand on China’s electricity system, unlocking benefits in terms of reduced power capacity investments, lower energy and maintenance costs, improved air quality, and greater access to cooling comfort.
The report is available to download at: https://www.iea.org/publications/reports/TheFutureofCoolinginChina/