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Air Conditioning Usage in China Set to Rise
27 June 2018


The staggering growth of room air conditioning unit sales in China dwarfs attempts to lower energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Air conditioning usage by John Herbert


The numbers are always staggering in China, just the population numbers alone are enough to lure businesses into the Chinese market.

And when incomes are rising, it's matched by the demand for luxury goods, including cars, washing machines, and room air conditioning units.

Therefore, the latest figures showing approx. 45% increase in the number of room air conditioning units (approx 160 million globally) is significant, beating IEA1 predicted growth.

Using more room air conditioning units creates that perfect storm, running AC units demands more electricity, and increasing urban temperatures, that demands more air conditioning, and GHG emission, and that in turn demands more electricity, and cycle continues.

Add to all that, assuming its not renewable source, the resultant extra power station emissions range from 41.8 million2 to 57.4 million3 tonne CO2e per year.

About the Author

John Herbert is a veteran chief engineer with more than 30 years international engineering experience, educated in the United Kingdom, he has worked in the United Kingdom and then across Asia for more than two decades engaged by international and local companies. He is a Hong Kong Registered Energy Assessor (REA), a BEAM Professional, and stationed in Hong Kong.


[1] Future of Cooling, IEA
[2] using CLP emission factor 0.51 kgCO2e/kwh (June 2018)
[3] 57.4 million is based on 0.7 kgCO2e/kwh emission factor

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