By Tara Marxen
All kinds of cooling show an increasing demand, which keeps on growing. With increasing income comes increased demand for cooling, not only space cooling, but also the cooling of goods. But it might just work the other way around, bringing cooling devices to fisherman or farmers can give them a better vantage point for pricing demands and the reduce of food waste.
The demand for cooling is rapidly increasing and will probably be higher than the demand for heating at some point.
Currently cooling is barely being considered in sustainable development engineering. The Sustainable Development Goals do not include any cooling-related terms. Nevertheless, improving the cooling situation can help with all 17 SDGs, which you will see at some examples in the next paragraph or in the linked article. (Cooling for sustainable development)
THE LINK BETWEEN COOLING AND SDGS
SDG 1 - No poverty: cooling can help farmers and fisherman by giving them more time to sell their produce. Without cooling, fisherman are forced to sell, if they wait too long, the fish will go bad, and they will no longer be able to sell them. So, they sell them, even if they are offered low prices - they have little to no control over how much the fish sells for. With cooling devices, however, they have less time pressure, which gives them a stronger foundation for negotiation, and they can demand higher prices.
SDG 3 – good health and well-being: If food gets cooled properly it will spoil less easily, and hence less people will have to eat spoiled food, which benefits their health. It is also essential to cool certain medications; otherwise they stop working. Too much heat can also lead to a heat stroke or negatively impact health in other ways.
SDG 4 – quality education: Peak productivity happens at a certain temperature range from 19-21°C. By ensuring a good learning and working environment and hence providing a better foundation for concentration, good results are reached more easily.
MAKING COOLING SUSTAINABLE
To successfully transition a system, you need to consider the whole system, like users, governors and so on. There are a lot of different underlying things you need to consider when tackling such a problem. If you got the necessary technology, but the people do not even want it or simply cannot afford it, the changes you are trying to make will not be sustainable, and after the initial funding runs out, the system will probably stop working.
If we take a look at a business model Dr. Philipp Trotter presented; mini grids connected to solar panels were being installed providing houses with electricity. Meanwhile you could walk by a street and see fish being transported bound to a motorcycle without any cooling. Without any cooling 35% of the fish were lost, which is a significant amount, especially considering that it is their main commodity. Most people do not have the financial means to buy any cooling devices, but then a new business was started which sold ice to them. Since they could gain more profit if they bought the ice, they could invest it and start cooling their fish.
By providing the cooling facilities can become a service and no high investment needs to be made. Like always with sustainable change, it is important to consider the framework and different aspects to a problem to find a good solution. But it could be a good start to try to make expensive investments more affordable by turning them into a new business branch which provides the service to others.