The 2021 Energy Crisis
Recent shortage of coal and gas in China for power generation causes many factories to shut down in several northern provinces, affecting residential life and severely disrupting industrial production. Traffic lights have been turned off during rush hour. Cities suffer from blackouts over the weekend. Traffic chaos occurs in many parts of China. This crisis is expected to last till the end of the winter. There are two causes to this power crisis. Some provinces have imposed power restriction policies to cut industrial electricity supply in order to meet carbon emission targets. Natural resources prices have been climbing up for more than a year. Other provinces, particularly the northern part, are running out of coal and natural gas for power generation.
In an ideal world all the power plants in the world should turn green by now. No more power plants running on coal and gas which lead to global warming and irreversible environmental damage. But coal-fired power plants have been operating all over the world for hundreds of years. The transition to clean energy takes time. In the meantime the majority of power plants in the world still run on coal and gas.
The global economic recovery in 2021 creates strong demand for energy which leads to a shortage of coal and gas. Their prices jump to multi-year high. While the world is still transitioning to clean energy, we have to cut the demand for energy. EnerCool, a Hong Kong based company, has identified a major source of energy consumption and presented a solution to reduce it. It aims to help companies save money and save the world in the process.
Air Conditioning is a Major Source of Energy Use
To tackle the energy crisis, reducing power consumption from air-conditioning in industrial, commercial and residential use is an important solution. In fact, air conditioning has emerged as a major source of energy use in many countries. Based on the report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the issue is particularly sensitive in the fastest-growing nations, with the biggest increase happening in hot countries like India – where the share of AC in peak electricity load could reach 45% in 2050, up from 10% today without action (1).
In Hong Kong, according to China Light and Power, Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Systems (HVAC) account for 24% of energy consumption in the commercial sector (2). It becomes a vicious cycle, air conditioning causes global warming and global warming causes the use of more air conditioning.
According to the IEA, around 1.9 billion air conditioning units are installed globally, mainly in China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. (3). Sale of air conditioning has been increasing significantly since the past decades. An estimated 10 new air-conditioning units will be sold worldwide every second from now to 2050. The number of units will reach 5.5 billion and the energy demand is expected to almost triple to 6,205 Terawatts (TWh) globally. Overall, more than 400 Exajoules (equivalent to 111,111 TWh) of energy were consumed worldwide and 26.1% was attributed to China, according to statista.com. Reducing energy consumption from air conditioning will benefit China and many other countries.
Primary energy consumption worldwide in 2020
The Business Opportunity
The global Industrial Energy Efficiency Service market is expected to grow to US$ 2.09 billion from 2020 to 2024 with a CAGR of 4.02% (5). The major energy consuming equipment include air-conditioning systems, refrigeration, lighting, electric motor-driven systems, etc.
Energy saving through improving air-conditioning energy use may become a quick solution for energy saving. The Greater Bay Area (GBA), which has over 72 million residents in southern China, is chosen as a pilot ecological civilization area to accelerate its industrial green development. Low carbon technology, green buildings, green transportation, clean energy, reducing industrial pollution and sustainable waste management are all highlighted in its urban planning. Adopting energy saving solutions for improving air-conditioning efficiency is important for the sustainable growth of the GBA economy.
Energy Saving solution of EnerCool Ideal for GBA deployment
EnerCool is a subsidiary of Urban Gateway. Urban Gateway is a Hong Kong venture capital company formed by a group of environmentally conscious investors. EnerCool offers energy saving technology for air-conditioning systems in GBA.
The technology, invented by a US company, can significantly improve the energy efficiency of a commercial air-conditioning system. The technology is a uniquely designed graphene polymer fin coating. It protects the cooling capacity and also reduces the corrosion of aluminium air-cooled condenser fins of every cooling system, thereby extending the life of the air conditioner. In the traditional air-cooled air conditioner, the heat exchange capacity between the tube and cooling fin starts to deteriorate after a certain period, eroding the cooling system surreptitiously. The typical unit loses 3%-5% efficiency due to corrosion each year. If ignored by owners, it will lead the machines to require more electricity to run the engines, increase operation costs and shorten the life of the machine unit. Eventually the air conditioner needs to be replaced.
Using EnerCool’s technology, a graphene polymer coating will be applied to the coils to fill the gaps of the detached parts, thereby enhancing their thermal performance. Furthermore, it can strengthen the machine unit and prevent future corrosion in order to operate efficiently and lower energy consumption. The whole treatment will clean and restore the air-cooled condensers back to their optimal performance. Therefore, the aging process can be stopped. In addition, installing sensors into the system, operating data will be collected and transmitted remotely into the cloud-based dashboard of the clients to review for further analysis.
Meeting ESG requirements for listed companies
Up to now, 60 stock exchanges globally have published ESG reporting guidance to regulate their listed companies (6). Hong Kong, as the financial centre of GBA, imposes increasingly stringent ESG disclosure requirements for listed companies. Starting in 2020, Hong Kong listed companies must publish ESG reports starting from fiscal year 1st JUL 2020 according to the updated HKEX ESG guideline.
Adopting EnerCool technology may help companies to achieve their sustainable ESG goals. EnerCool’s technology complies with SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”, SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities” and SDG 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”. EnerCool provides an innovative product designed for energy saving and energy efficiency (SGD 9). It protects the air-cool air conditioning machine from rapid deterioration by corrosion. As the machinery is maintained in good condition, the engine will run smoothly without using extra energy. Longer lasting machinery reduces industrial waste and reduces the landfills problem (GSD 11). EnerCool aims to provide energy saving products and services in order to preserve our planet to sustain our ecosystem for the future generation (SDG 12).
ACH Worldwide Limited, 10 Oct 2021