Under the ‘Thailand Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action’ (RAC NAMA) plan, the joint German-British project will provide Thailand with a 560 million baht grant to help manufacturers produce more environmentally friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning products.
The objective of the grant is to help Thailand lower its HFC emissions and reduce the amount of energy it consumes. The cooling products will be designed by Thai manufacturers and the grant will help drive down costs, making it cheaper for consumers to buy them.
“Thailand is an important industry hub in the cooling product sector for both national and international companies,” said Peter Prügel, the German ambassador to Thailand, speaking at the RAC NAMA plan’s launch.
“To be competitive, companies need to be able to adjust to changing requirements triggered by international agreements. Consequently, their challenge will be to produce highly energy-efficient and climate-friendly technologies,” Prügel added.
High demand for refrigeration, air-conditioning
At the moment, refrigerators and air-conditioners represent a massive 50% of electricity consumption in Thailand.
Dr. Asdaporn Krairapanond, deputy secretary-general in the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) at the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), warns that this percentage is increasing.
“In fact the demand for air conditioning and refrigeration in Thailand is growing very fast. This sector consumes a lot of electricity, produced in general by burning fossil fuel that emits CO2. It was projected that, without intervention, this demand will triple by 2030,” Krairapanond said.
Investing in natural refrigerants
The grant will support the development and uptake of natural refrigerant technologies, helping Thailand to deliver on its commitment to phasing-down HFCs.
The campaign will be handled by GIZ, a German sustainable development agency. They will provide training and knowledge in climate-friendly technologies to Thai authorities and manufacturers.
“On the supply side, [GIZ] will support Thailand in preparing for the next generation of refrigerators by cooperating with agencies to define safety standards and building codes in line with international best practices. We will also train servicing staff to prepare the manufacturing sector for different safety challenges,” said GIZ’s Tim Mahler, director of the RAC-NAMA project.
Part of the grant will be allocated to a campaign to raise public interest in buying climate-friendly products.