Why Europe Faces An Air Conditioning Problem After Its Red-Hot Summer

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Europe is facing a tough winter, as inflation and energy prices continue to rise. The continent also faces tough decisions following its scorching hot summer.

Heat waves in Europe broke records, sparked widespread wildfires and even damaged a busy runway at a London airport.

Unlike the U.S., European countries don’t rely on air conditioning to cope with high temperatures. Fewer than 10% of households in Europe owned air conditioners as of 2016, according to the International Energy Agency.

“If we were looking at the beginning of this summer, it was fairly quiet. We were getting typically 20 inquiries a day maybe for people interested in air conditioning,” said Richard Salmon, director of The Air Conditioning Co., which is based in central London.

Demand for air conditioners spiked as temperatures crossed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the United Kingdom.

“I’ve been here for 15 years and I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Salmon said.
As countries around the globe rapidly adopt ways to cool their homes and businesses, it becomes more important to install cooling technology that doesn’t contribute to higher temperatures in the future via carbon emissions.

“It is clear that if no effective mitigation strategies will be put in place on a global scale to cut emissions then this kind of summer and these kinds of events will become the new norm,” said Andrea Toreti, senior climate researcher at the European Commission, the executive body of the EU.

Watch the video to learn more about why large parts of Europe don’t have air conditioning, how ACs contribute to climate change, and new kinds of efficient cooling technologies that can mitigate carbon emissions.

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Why Europe Faces An Air Conditioning Problem After Its Red-Hot Summer


Maverick Dakota says:

Interesting that this is a concern in a temperate climate.

TroniX FiX says:

More work… it's good for some

Thiago Serra says:

LOL!!! Wokes

Gavin Davies says:

I think the UK is going to shift to air conditioning/heat pumps for heating and cooling. As air conditioning can heat and cool but just works in reverse. The reason for this is CO2 emissions as we shift from gas for heating, to renewable electric.

Em M says:

less than 10% have AC.. I've never seen one home with AC before other than shops/offices

B D says:

My European air conditioning is window.

kevxsi16v says:

Yeh and that company is using SY cable no decent electrician uses that crap.

kevxsi16v says:

EU commission 🙄🖕🏼

C Robinson says:

Buy a portable air conditioner. You can wheel it in and out of rooms as you please.

C a r b o u m e n says:

Here un Spain this year by law the a/c at the malls/public buildings/stores…etc it can't be lower than 27°c (80,6°f) in summer or higher than 19°c (66,2°f) in winter

LMLMD says:

It's weird how the Brits refuse to use air con, even though it's a super efficient, clean heat system as well. You can't make gas central heating zero emissions, but as the electricity grid gets cleaner, air conditioning gets cleaner, and produces both winter warmth and summer cooling. It's also a damn sight easier to design into new builds than gas heating, as you don't need to run hot water pipes all over the place, and give up wast slabs of wall space to heavy radiators. It also dehumidifies the air in summer and produces much cleaner, filtered air, rather than acting as a dust, dirt and damp trap the way radiators do. It just seems much more civilized. Australia and Spain have been using air con for year round heat and cooling for years. It's really time we caught up.

Rick Wyk says:

I live in a brownstone (a type of town or row house) in New York City and spent a small fortune installing central AC on all floors 10 years ago (previously we had window units). I also have a house in Florida which is large enough to require three central AC units to cool/heat different zones of the house due to the spread-out layout. Area-wise both properties are similar, about 4,000 square feet of indoor space, yet during hot summers my cooling bill for the New York house is more than twice that of Florida. The principal reason is the kilowatt-per-hour cost of power, which for me in NYC is about 18 cents, versus 9 cents in Florida, not to mention taxes and other fees which in New York are just too high.

In NY the power is generated from a combination of fossil fuels, solar, and wind, which is okay but expensive, and it has emissions. In FL all my power is generated by a nuclear plant, which has been in place for decades, is way more clean and efficient, and has zero emissions. I'm still trying to figure out why more areas of the USA don't go nuclear if everybody is so worried about emissions and "global warming", but go figure! IMO nuclear would be the best solution for Europe to break their dependence on Russian oil and gas.

lowbudgetmic says:

"Thanos was right." 😮

Jaco Hollebrandse says:

"It's a big cause of carbon emissions".

Kind of short sighted, without discussing the other side.

It doesn't have to be though. Consider the dutch situation: you will run your AC for a few weeks a year, which indeed causes carbon emissons. On the other hand: these tend to be really sunny days, in which solar panels output so much that some local elektricity grids get overloaded. Running an AC on these days is both clean, and beneficial for the electricity grid.

After that you get autumn: no AC needed.

After autumn winter rolls in, and suddenly that AC becomes a heater that is way more efficient than gas heaters. And you'll not run it for a couple of weeks, but for 4 – 8 months, depending on your type of house and how cold the winter gets.

What do you recon is the sum of carbon emitted in the summer minus carbon saved in the winter?

Paul Rice says:

The real problem is a lack of good insulation and aid for people to improve their homes

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