An emerging “middle class” means the demands for air conditioning and the people who make AC possible are growing dramatically. The global middle class has nearly doubled in size over the past decade, with an estimated 3.2 billion people by 2020 and 4.9 billion by 2030. With affluence comes the desire for more creature comforts, including AC. Factor in warmer temperatures globally and you have strong product demand and higher energy use.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the number of air conditioners in buildings will triple from 1.6 billion today to a mind-boggling 5.6 billion by 2050.
Encouraging reduced energy use and the need for a new power infrastructure, IEA is promoting mandatory standards that could double the average energy efficiency of AC units worldwide. According to Dr. Fatih Birol of the IEA, “Setting higher efficiency standards for cooling is one of the easiest steps governments can take to reduce the need for new power plants, cut emissions and reduce costs at the same time.”
Finally, to support demand, the HVAC workforce must expand and energize. From product designers and manufacturers, to contractors and technicians, the industry requires an army of knowledgeable, engaged people to be energy stewards and keep our world cool.