The summer temperature has been on the rise constantly all across India during the past 3 decades. The maximum temperature in Delhi has increased in the last 3 decades by 6 degree Celsius to exceed 48 degrees in 2019. At this rate by 2030, the summer temperature could be well over 50 degrees making it almost impossible for people to live, work or commute without cooling. Traditionally, space cooling in buildings is provided with room (window) air conditioner (AC) or centralized AC plants. With increasing economic prosperity, urbanization and rising temperatures, sale of room ACs are set to increase rapidly. Installed stock of room ACs in India increased from two million units in 2006 to 30 million units in 2017 and is expected to be between 55 - 124 million by 2030. Per another estimate, about 700 million new ACs by 2030 and 1.6 billion units by 2050 are expected to be added globally. This level of proliferation of ACs will worsen the crisis by increasing the ambient temperature and widen the divide between those who can afford to stay cool and those left out in the unbearable deadly heat.

Room ACs emit heat to the atmosphere creating heat islands in many parts in a city and increase the overall ambient temperature in the locality. Similarly, millions of air-conditioned cars in large cities like Delhi emit heat thereby making it very uncomfortable for pedestrians and commuters on 2-wheelers and 3- wheelers. This situation is set to aggravate as the number of room ACs and air-conditioned cars are increasing day by day. High temperatures are already affecting people’s ability to work, making people sick, and outright killing thousands of elderly and children in low-income communities who cannot afford cooling. While cooling is a luxury at moderate to high temperatures, it is an essential need at temperatures above 40 degree Celsius.

The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) issued in March 2019 aims to reduce cooling demand by 25-30% and reduce cooling energy requirements by 25-40% by 2037-38 from 2017-18 levels. ICAP targets efficiency improvement and material substitution and related actions that will yield incremental improvements. The problem being so critical and imminent, it requires a radically different approach – incremental improvement in the efficiency of room AC units and better construction materials will not help to mitigate this challenge. District energy systems are being successfully implemented in many parts of the world and have evolved as a matured technology. In the Indian context, the district cooling system (DCS) presents an opportunity to address the space cooling challenge effectively. Considering this, an actionable implementation plan needs to be developed focusing on both greenfield and brownfield projects along with commercially viable business models for providing cooling as a service. Government should also come up with policy and regulation both at central and state levels focusing on financing options, incentives and tariff policy for providing a push for adoption of DCS and attract investment in the sector.


  • The workshop will present international experiences with DCS projects and discuss the challenges with both green field and brown field DCS projects
  • Discuss and present innovative financing models for providing Cooling-As- A-Service against monthly payments
  • Discuss the Policy and Regulatory support for implementation of sustainable DCS projects developing countries


Session Agenda: 16th June 2021 | 20.00 to 21.30 Manila Time | 17.30 to 19.00 India Time

Time (Manila) Session Details
08:00-08:10 p.m. Welcome Address and Introduction to District Cooling Systems (DCS)

08:10-08:40 p.m. Session 1: Experiences with DCS Projects

08:40-09:20 p.m. Session 2: Policy, Regulations and Implementation Challenges in DCS
09:20-09:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Vote of Thanks

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About Organizers

India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF)

The India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) is a public private partnership initiative of Govt. of India with the mandate of accelerating smart grid deployments across the country. With 170+ members comprising of ministries, utilities, technology providers, academia and research, ISGF has evolved as a Think-Tank of global repute on Smart Energy and Smart Cities. Mandate of ISGF is to accelerate energy transition through clean energy, electric grid modernization and electric mobility; work with national and international agencies in standards development and help utilities, regulators and the Industry in technology selection, training and capacity building.

Global Smart Energy Federation (GSGF)

The Global Smart Energy Federation (GSEF), formerly known as Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF), is a global stakeholder organization committed to creating smarter, cleaner electrical systems around the world and is comprised of national smart grid associations, forward-looking utilities, and think tanks from around the globe working in the energy transition and clean transportation. GSEF brings together the intellectual capital of smart energy stakeholders from around the world to help member organizations initiate changes to their countries’ energy systems to enhance security, increase flexibility, reduce emissions, and maintain affordability, reliability, and accessibility to clean energy and promote clean transportation.

Asia Pacific Urban Energy Association (APUEA)

The Asia Pacific Urban Energy Association (APUEA) actively promotes the development of sustainable urban energy systems in the Asia Pacific region. Through the secretariat located in Bangkok, the association convenes cross-sectoral stakeholders, shares global and regional experiences and best practices, and promotes market development for sustainable urban energy systems. The APUEA platform serves as a bridge between the Association’s members and governments/international agencies in the Asia Pacific region, helping cities to accelerate the development of sustainable urban energy systems. APUEA is an initiative of the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC), with support from an advisory board comprising representatives from United Nations Environment (UN Environment).

Point of Contact

Reena Suri, ISGF