The UK’s Birmingham Energy Institute Policy Commission – launched earlier this year to address the climate change and economic potential of a new approach to cold energy – has heard expert evidence warning against the risks of apathy in refrigeration and cooling markets.

Demand for cooling, from air conditioning, data cooling, food delivery and healthcare etc, is rising dramatically with growing global urban population.

Witnesses from industry and academia state that the only way ambitious climate targets can be met is to adopt a systems level approach that integrates heating and cooling and seriously reconsiders the way cold energy is generated and consumed.

For instance Robert Hurley, Group Engineering and Energy Standards Manager, Tesco, said: ‘Supermarkets must take sustainable cooling solutions seriously. We will best achieve our stretching aspiration if we work with the supply base and procure not only by capital cost, but also life cycle and sustainable alternatives that could provide both economic and environmental savings in the long term.’

The Birmingham Energy Institute policy commission will provide a series of recommendations as part of a final report in autumn.