Business models like cooling-as-a-service (CaaS) can support the “urgent need” for transition to energy-efficient cooling systems that use cleaner, “ideally natural” refrigerants, according to a recent white paper published by the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE).
In the report, BASE emphasizes how the long-term mindset created by the CaaS business model promotes sustainable choices within the sector, including the selection of refrigerants.
“CaaS encourages the use of clean refrigerants, since these are less likely to become obsolete with increasingly stringent regulations in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol,” said BASE. “However, significant work is still needed to increase the deployment of low-GWP or natural refrigerants to make this the norm rather than the exception.”
“CaaS encourages the use of clean refrigerants, since these are less likely to become obsolete with increasingly stringent regulations in accordance with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.”BASE
BASE added that “engaging in a CaaS solution allows clients not only to benefit from increased [cost] savings due to higher energy efficiency, but also to reach their climate targets, all while not worrying about upcoming new regulations on permitted refrigerants, which remain under the responsibility of the provider owning the asset.”
How CaaS works
The report details the organization’s efforts to bring servitization – a pay-as-you-go financing mechanism – to the cooling industry through its CaaS Initiative, which was launched in 2019 by BASE with financial support from the Clean Cooling Collaborative. (The author of this article is affiliated with the Clean Cooling Collaborative.) The CaaS Initiative aims to support markets implementing clean and energy-efficient cooling solutions across the globe.
According to BASE, clean cooling systems offer numerous benefits including reduced energy consumption and GHG emissions, cost savings, improved air quality, enhanced comfort and increased productivity.
But as highlighted by the organization in a recent blog post, there are numerous challenges – such as high upfront costs and doubts about potential long-term savings – that can limit the wide-scale adoption of clean cooling systems. The CaaS initiative aims to overcome these challenges.
Through the servitization model, the end user simply pays for the cooling it uses on a per-unit basis. The technology provider is then responsible for the purchase, operation and upkeep of equipment. According to the CaaS Initiative, the model incentivizes the adoption of energy- and resource-efficient technologies due to higher performance and lower operating costs over the lifespan of the equipment.
According to the white paper, CaaS is a particularly effective business model in regions where energy costs, temperatures and humidity are high and where regulations are already in place to promote cleaner refrigerants.
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