Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • Premier Leaderboard - updated Nov 19
  • Keith Walking Floor - Leaderboard - Sept 2021
  • Revizto - Leaderboard - May and June 2024
  • Dentec - Leaderboard - 2023 - Updated
  • IAPMO R&T Lab - Leaderboard
  • Procore Leaderboard 2024
  • Sage Leaderboard
  • CWRE 2024
November 12, 2018

Richard Branson just launched a $3 million prize for a better air conditioner

Got news? Next submission deadline is Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Click here to submit YOUR news

 

 

As incomes rise in cities in India, China, and other quickly growing economies, people tend to make three major purchases first: a TV, a refrigerator, and an air conditioner. The number of AC units may swell from 1.2 billion worldwide today to 4.5 billion by 2050–and household air conditioning, alone, could push global warming up half a degree by the end of the century, according to a new report.

“The increase in energy consumption for cooling represents a massive risk to meeting our climate goals,” says Richard Branson, who today helped launch both the report and the Global Cooling Prize, a $3 million competition to spur new technology. The prize, he says, “can literally help save the world from the disaster it’s facing.” It’s supported in part by the Indian government, as that country alone will add around 1 billion room air conditioners by the middle of the century.

The new competition is designed to provide an incentive to create higher-efficiency air conditioners and support startups in a field that’s currently dominated by a handful of major corporations. To participate, companies need to submit a solution that has five times less climate impact than a standard air conditioner, at no more than twice the cost, so it has a payback period of less than four years.

“This is a $20 billion market ready for a shake-up,” says Branson. “The challenge is that the market is broken. Incumbent manufacturers follow market signals, which currently reward high volume and low price. High R&D costs present a major barrier to entry.”

Through the competition, the organizers hope to speed up the industry’s rate of innovation. Consumers tend to buy air conditioners based on the sticker price, not how much they’ll end up spending on electricity over time. “The market is not demanding high-efficiency equipment,” says Iain Campbell, a managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit that wrote the new report and is helping lead the prize. “So industry isn’t responding with higher-efficiency equipment.”

Keep reading on FastCompany.com

 


Watch our video and learn more about the benefits of joining Construction Links Network – the peer-to-peer network sharing platform for the construction, building and design community.

Press Releases | Project Updates | New Appointments | Awards & Milestones | Company News | New Products/Services | Brochures | Videos | Infographics | Blog Sharing | Events and More