Air conditioners in passenger cars, vans, buses and freight trucks – collectively known as mobile air conditioning – consume large amounts of energy. The fuel they use and their leaks of refrigerant are also responsible for a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
This report explores the current global energy consumption from mobile air conditioning systems, along with the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the energy consumption and the leaking refrigerants. With no further policy action, energy use from mobile air conditioning may almost triple to over 5.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2050. At the same time, annual combined emissions from energy consumption and refrigerant leakage could more than triple to 1 300 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
The report provides a summary review of the technical opportunities for improving the efficiency of mobile air conditioning. This is complemented with a review of the different types of alternative cooling refrigerants, and their potential impact on global warming. These two analyses are combined to develop a scenario of high efficiency and low global warming potential. The report’s analysis is based on a study of the literature and makes use of the IEA’s Mobility Model, which provides insights into the current and expected future stock of road vehicles.
Finally, the report explores the role government policy can play in supporting the development and installation of more efficient mobile air conditioning systems.
More information available here: https://www.iea.org/publications/reports/coolingonthemove