How Danfoss wants hot cities to cool down

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

People need cooling as temperatures rise. But how do they get it without increasing emissions? Danish engineering company Danfoss offered an answer at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh today.

Take district energy and add renewable energy sources. Then you have the key ingredients which cities can use to provide cooling for citizens in a carbon neutral way – not least in the Global South where cooling is more urgent than ever.

And that’s important information when you consider the fact that energy demand for space cooling alone is right now on a course where it may triple by 2050, then consuming as much as all of China and India do today.

Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen, Vice President & Head of Public Affairs, Danfoss Group Communication & Sustainability, urged world leaders to act on this knowledge at a panel debate taking place alongside COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Tuesday.

He explains that air conditioners also emit excess heat when they operate. And, in densely populated areas with individual air conditioners operating inside thousands of buildings, this puts further pressure on temperature levels with each building’s air conditioning system emitting its excess heat outside.

District cooling is based on chilled water running through insulated underground pipes and can be powered by electricity. If this electricity comes from renewable sources such as solar or wind, it will make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of cooling.

With district cooling, you also get higher levels of flexibility. It allows you to use the electricity generated on a stormy or sunny day to create cold water. And you can then store this cold water in thermal or ice tanks for use when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.

“If cities in the Global South combine district energy from renewable resources with higher energy efficiency in buildings, they can provide cooling to their citizens without sacrificing climate goals,” says Rasmus Abildgaard Kristensen.


Danfoss is physically present in Sharm el-Sheikh to meet political leaders and NGOs at some of the supporting events alongside COP27. The panel debate about carbon neutral district energy systems took place at The Danish Pavilion. On the agenda, was the work which the District Energy in Cities Initiative and UNEP CCC have done to implement energy efficient district heating and cooling systems in over 70 cities. Danfoss has supported this work with technical knowledge. The Bitten and Mads Clausen Foundation has provided financial support.

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Amanda Chick, Global PR Lead
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