Professor Toby Peters speaking at the event

• Clean Cooling – the new ‘Frontier Market’ for UAE and GCC region: Dubai, 9/10 April 2018
• UAE and EU experts discuss on sustainable cooling approaches as the new frontier market for the region

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) hosted in its headquarters in Dubai Academic City a ‘clean cool’ workshop exploring ways of meeting the country’s rapidly rising demand for air-conditioning with more sustainable cooling technologies. This special event was co-hosted with the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the University of Birmingham in partnership with the Heriot-Watt University. A number of experts from both the UAE and Europe attended the workshop to discuss the opportunities from a wide range of emerging low-carbon cooling systems and how to cooperate in accelerating their deployment. 

Welcoming the participants, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “There are few regions that appreciate the value of cooling more than this part of the world, where summer temperatures soar to over 45oC and around two-thirds of the UAE’s energy consumption in summer months comes from air-conditioning.

“As the economy grows and the impacts of climate change start taking hold, the UAE urgently needs to find ways to reconcile its fast-growing cooling demand and its environmental goals.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that global air conditioning-related energy demand will grow 33-fold by 2100 to more than 10,000 terawatt-hours (TWh), equivalent to roughly half the total electricity generated worldwide in 2010. It is estimated that by the middle of this century, the world will be consuming more energy for cooling than heating. Unless clean and sustainable cooling solutions are rolled out, this may cause unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.


The EU Ambassador H.E. Patrizio Fondi also welcomed the participants. H.E. Fondi noted: “The European Commission recognises that cooling has been under-represented in energy policy, compared to heat, power and transport, hence, took a first step with the launch of its Heating and Cooling Strategy in February 2016.

“We are honored to share our thoughts and know-how on clean cooling technologies with experts from the Gulf region and to engage in a fruitful dialogue that will contribute in addressing common climate and environmental concerns.”

Chair of the workshop and global cooling expert Professor Toby Peters from the University of Birmingham said: “Given the growth in cooling demand, we don’t simply need more efficient air-conditioners and fridges or transport refrigeration units but we need new radical approaches to cooling. Energy can be used, stored and moved thermally without converting into electricity, and can be converted to provide cooling.”

While the UAE is leading the world in deploying district cooling systems in cities, a growing number of other emerging technologies to cool thermally are being developed and trialled around the world. These range from solar absorption chillers that convert the sun’s heat directly into cooling; the novel use of ice to provide controlled off-grid refrigeration; and cryogenic expansion engines driven by liquid air or nitrogen, which deliver distributed clean cold and power to vehicles and buildings.

Mr. Frank Wouters, Director of the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, co-host of the workshop, added: “Policy makers have come to realise that in order to fulfil the climate and energy goals, the cooling sectors must sharply reduce its energy consumption and cut its use of fossil fuels. Innovative and forward-looking thinking and sharing of scientific knowledge will help both regions develop sustainable solutions for cooling.”

Findings and recommendations from the workshop will form an important step to help inform new cooling solutions across the region as well as to establish an EU-UAE partnership for academic and industry collaborations to help demonstrate and disseminate these technologies.

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  • The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment was established in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. The ministry acquired its new name following the UAE Cabinet reshuffle in February 2016 and the subsequent integration of the climate change function. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate. On the national level, the ministry aims to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity in accordance with the nation’s aspiration to emerge as a key benchmark for sustainable development. On the global level, the ministry is joining international stakeholders in combating climate change and profiling the UAE’s path-breaking achievements in the sector at thought leadership platforms worldwide.
  • The EU– GCC Clean Energy Technology Network was established as a response to the common EU and GCC interest for strategic clean energy cooperation. The Network aims to act as catalyst and facilitate the development of clean energy partnerships including the related policy and technology aspects among various stakeholders in the EU and GCC countries. The Network is structured around collaboration in five working areas, with Climate Change as a cross-cutting topic: Renewable Energy Sources; Energy Efficiency & Demand Side Management; Clean Natural Gas & related Technologies; Electricity Interconnections & Market Integration; Carbon Capture & Storage. The Network is funded by the European Commission. Its head office is in Abu Dhabi/ UAE. 
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.