Voluntary climate mitigation action: Refrigeration and air conditioning technologies (RAC)
Title: Thailand Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (RAC NAMA)
Commissioned by: NAMA Facility: German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Lead executing agency: Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE) of the Ministry of Energy (MoE)
Overall term: 2016 to 2021
The energy demand in Thailand’s cooling sector is increasing substantially. Today, it is estimated that half of the electricity consumed in the country is used to operate refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) appliances. According to the forecasts, demand is set to double by 2030 if nothing is done. High energy consumption and the direct emissions generated when using refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP) means the cooling sector impacts the volume of greenhouse gas (GHG) produced significantly. In Thailand, the RAC sector accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the country’s total GHG emissions. Reducing cooling sector emissions is thus key if Thailand is to reach its ambitious GHG targets.
At the same time, Thailand is a major hub for national and international companies engaged in the cooling industry. To remain competitive, companies have to adapt to changing demands, some of which are triggered by international agreements. The challenge thus lies in developing and producing highly energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies.
Cooling technologies in the Thai market vary greatly in terms of their energy efficiency and climate friendliness. Green technologies that use refrigerants with a low GWP have already been introduced for commercial cooling and household appliances. However, the air-conditioning sector still lacks alternatives.
Support for climate-friendly and energy-efficient cooling technologies triggers the cooling sector’s transformation. National energy-saving and climate protection targets are attainable, thanks in part to international climate funding.
The NAMA project has supported the country in reaching its energy saving as well as its climate targets. Moreover, it has supported the industry in staying competitive and bringing international climate finance to the country.
With an aim to promote energy efficiency and climate friendliness in the RAC industry through the use of natural refrigerants, the project provides technical support to producers for product design and production line conversion while cooperating with public institutions to establish appropriate safety and training standards for flammable refrigerants that comply with international best practices. Moreover, trainers and service technicians will be trained to ensure the sector is able to meet various safety requirements in handling natural refrigerants, and is thus prepared for foreseeable developments and changes in technology.
Furthermore, the project is assisting producers to market new climate-friendly and energy-efficient cooling products that comply with Thai regulations, with the support of international experts experienced in product design and establishing production lines. Under the “RAC NAMA Fund”, companies will receive financial support for investments in production line conversion and market introduction of climate-friendly and energy efficient RAC equipment using natural refrigerants. The RAC NAMA Fund which has been established with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) as the national fund recipient and project fund manager, addresses investment needs of producers, consumers, end-users and the service sector.
To increase demand for green cooling products, there is a need to raise awareness and provide knowledge about the application of natural refrigerants and its benefits to the general public and key end-users. This means both private and commercial users need to acknowledge that climate-friendly and energy-efficient cooling technologies can be used safely and at the same time offer great benefits.