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Cooling report calls for greater government enagement

The Birmingham Energy Institute policy commission’s report on the UK cooling sector has called on the Government to set up a ‘clean cold’ department’ to improve Britain’s cooling efficiency.

Entitled ‘Doing Colder Smarter’, the policy commision, part of The University of Birmningham’s Energy Institute, was set up to look at meeting demand for cold from a systems level to recruit untapped resources of waste cold, ‘free’ cold, waste heat, renewable heat and wrong-time energy to improve the efficiency of cooling. The

The supsequent report or ‘road map’ is intended to describe what is required to develop a British clean cold industry that will not only improve the enovironmental performance of cooling in the country, but also establish a lead in the global market.

Key areas featured include air-conditioning, food and the cold chain, medicine, data and telecoms, energy security, industry and science.

Its key recommenations are split into five broad points:

* Raising awareness and long-term commitment:

- Establish a lead department with responsiblity for clean cold, the development of policy should involve several arms of the government - DECC, Defra, BIS, DfT and the Treasury.

- Appoint and institutional champion for clean cold.

- Develop a concordant for the UK cooling and refrigeration industry

* Technology innovation needs assesment for cooling

- ‘TINAs’ are intended to identify and value the main innovation needs of specific low-carbon technology families to inform the prioritisation of public sector in low-carbon innovation.

* System-level model of UK Cold

- A proper understanding of the Cold Economy requires a more detailed and definitive model to be developed. Research Councils, Innovate UK and Government to jointly fund study to assess social benefits of implementing measures outlined in report.

* Support demonstration projects

- Government should support clean cold demonstration projects, both in Britain and abroadas a platform for future exports.

* Measurement and management of clean cold

- Development of new broad measure of energy efficiency and evironmental impact of cooling, by which companies can judge their progress and performance relative to their peers, which may also help them identify cooling loads that that could be aggregated and therefore supplied more efficiently through district cooling schemes.

Commenting on the release of the report, Andy Pearson, chair of IOR Technical Committee said: “The Institute of Refrigeration welcomes the publication of “Doing Cold Smarter” and congratulates the University of Birmingham’s Commission on Cold for their excellent work in providing a detailed case for urgent attention to be paid to the provision and use of cooling. 

“This is a topic which deserves greater consideration by government – as Professor Toby Peters said in his address at the launch of the report “somebody in Government needs to have cold on their business card”. 

“The IOR is well connected with the international community and is working hard to promote innovation in refrigeration, air-conditioning and heating.  We are planning to work with the Commission to address the issues raised by the report.

“The report is very direct and hard-hitting, describing cooling as “vital but dirty”. 

“We recognise that some sectors of the industry need to do substantially more to deliver “clean cooling” solutions but we also note the substantial progress that has been made in recent years to provide sustainable refrigeration in many sectors. 

“As hosts of the International “Gustav Lorentzen” conference on natural working fluids next August we will be working to promote further progress in this field.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • How many £millions does it cost to produce a coffee table report? Well around £20m it seems.
    If you have read the Carbon Trust sponsored reports from a few back may appreciated the recycling of the data from them and the glossy repackaging. One cannot help but admire the artful spin employed in presenting this as new and pioneering.
    Describing 'cooling' as "vital but dirty" whilst catchy is downright misleading. The journalistic world may require soundbytes to raise the profile of a cause it doesn't help any serious debate.
    My fridge at home has sat in the corner of the kitchen for years and as far as I know hasn't given off any dirt. It only requires dusting sometimes. Does this make it cleantech? Of course, the electricity required to run it is generated elsewhere. Perhaps we should clean that up as part of the solution?
    This report is neither direct or hard hitting, and anyone that seriously things it is is kidding themselves. But, credit where it is due, it does raise a debate and awareness of the importance of refrigeration to modern life.
    Still not sure that it was worth the £milliions though.

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  • This report was released just in time for Halloween. It is scary that so many seemingly intelligent people can be sucked in to accepting this as a real report from a puka commission. It is frightening to see so many experts from other fields dressing-up into 'refrigeration expert' guises to present their findings.
    This was more trick or treat than useful exercise. Beware of bogus energy institutes.

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