Europe hardly uses air conditioning. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, less than 10% of European households have one. A situation that until now had not been so striking, but with the constant heat waves that are being experienced in Europe it is beginning to be a problem.
Less than 10% in Europe, more than 90% in the United States. The use of air conditioning in Europe contrasts sharply with that in other parts of the world. According to US Census data, 91% of American homes have air conditioning. Cambridge economist Gwyn Prins put it well: “Physical addiction to air conditioning is the most widespread and least noticed epidemic in modern America.”
The contrast with Europe is enormous. According to data from the manufacturer Inaba Denko, less than 3% of homes in Germany have air conditioning. While in the United Kingdom or France they do not reach 5% either.
sales are unleashed. This summer sales have grown tremendously in some cities. Countries like the UK were not used to these temperatures. This has caused sales in cities like Sainsbury to grow by 2,420% from one week to the next, making air conditioners among the ten best-selling products on Amazon.
According to data from the IEA, between 1990 and 2016 sales of air conditioners have tripled and energy consumption to cool homes is expected to triple again before 2050. In the European Union, it is expected that of the 110 million air conditioners conditioners that there were in 2019 will increase to around 275 million in 2050.
A fish that bites its tail. The use of air conditioning is counterproductive, especially in those models that are not as efficient. It turns out that the air makes emissions that contribute to climate change. If the number of air conditioners continues to grow, this will favor climate change and, incidentally, make heat waves more common.
Experts warn that they are concerned about finding a balance between protecting themselves from the heat with air conditioners and preventing their use from multiplying excessively and continuing to climb temperatures.
Given this, personalities like Bill Gates are trying to find a solution. With its Blue Frontier project, it will invest some 20 million euros in the most promising startups.
Responsible for 20% of electricity in buildings. Air conditioners are energy-wasting machines. On average, according to the IEA, they account for 20% of the electricity consumption of homes in the world. Taking into account the high price of energy today, it also represents an energy challenge. Unfortunately, in the face of so much heat, air conditioners are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.
Will there be for everyone?. With the rise of air conditioners, the question arises whether manufacturers are prepared to supply the demand. It will be necessary to see if there are enough components for them and at what prices the air conditioners are finally sold. In the same way that we have seen it in sectors such as the automobile, next summer there may be a new bottleneck, this time with the aim of cooling the home and better coping with heat waves that seem to be with us for quite some time. .