District cooling could save GCC billions: Booz & CO

District cooling the ‘ideal solution’ for the region as it has less negative environmental impact

With demand on cooling in the GCC predicted to almost triple by 2030, a report by Booz & Company suggested district cooling could effectively serve 30% of the region’s cooling requirements, if implemented under the right conditions.

Countries of the GCC will have to invest around $100bn for new cooling capacity and over $120bn for new power capacity, as air-conditioning alone will account for 60% of additional power generation required, the report said.

District cooling is the ideal solution for the region as it “has less negative environmental impact than conventional solutions” said to George Sarraf, partner with Booz & Company.

“With these countries likely to urbanise further in coming decades, district cooling could save them from investing considerable sums on new power stations,” Sarraf said.

According to an analysis by Booz & Company, by 2030, consistent use of district cooling in the region could lead to a reduction of 20GW in new power capacity requirements, reduction in the GCC’s power plant fuel consumption, and a region-wide decrease of 31 million tonnes per year in CO2 emissions.

However, “overly low power prices” are among factors that make it difficult to recognise and capitaliseon the benefits of district cooling, the consultancy said.

“Moreover, property developers often fail to appreciate the advantages of combining their cooling demand and are wary of the technology, as it requires significant initial investment,” the report said.

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