Baseline study on refrigeration, air-conditioning, and insulation foam production in Thailand successfully completed

Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) must submit national reports to the UNFCCC secretariat. The GHG data reported by Parties contain estimates for direct greenhouse gases, among them hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) which are used in various refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors as well as in insulation foams,

Appliances in the Thai refrigeration and air-conditioning sector (RAC) still contain ozone depleting substances (ODS) and HFCs, which have a high global warming potential. Therefore reforms in relevant sectors or sub-sectors can effectively contribute to the global mitigation efforts.  With support of GIZ PROKLIMA, financed by the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the baseline study on the inventory of ODS and HFCs, has been completed successfully. This is the first time that such a comprehensive database was established for the RAC sector in Thailand and in a Non-Annex 1 country.

Based on detailed inventories, appropriate reduction measurements (mitigation actions) can be identified. A detailed emission inventory is the first step for any political action and the basis for setting up a National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA).

Potentials for (sub-)sectoral reforms

Specific refrigerant consumption (respectively HFC, HCFCs and CFCs), energy use and the resulting emissions have successfully been collected by the Thai Bright Management Consulting company and determined in a simulation model by GIZ PROKLIMA. The database allows to extract detailed information about the emissions from all RAC sub-sectors and to develop business as usual (BAU) scenarios for each one separately. Thereby it is possible to distinguish between direct emission, stemming from the refrigerant, and indirect emission, namely the energy consumption.

In a stakeholder workshop the representatives from relevant industries, research organizations, associations and ministries gave feedback to the inventory data and emission reduction scenarios. The workshop was organized with the joint support of the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) and the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) on the 29th and 30th October 2012.

The Thai RAC sector contributes with 3.4 Mt CO2eq. Considering emissions from all fluorinated substances and those that result from energy consumption, the model simulations show that the RAC sector currently contributes with ca. 20% of the total GHG emission in Thailand (Figure 1). However, this share is expected to increase strongly in future. By 2030 the RAC sector might contribute with ca. 50% of the total GHG emissions. These figures highlight the relevance of the RAC sector in terms of GHG emissions and point to the urgent need for action within the framework of a NAMA.

The next steps

The established tool can be used to estimate the mitigation potential for all appliance systems within the sub-sectors. This can be considered as a first step and a decision support to narrow down the choice between different options within the RAC sector. Road Maps are currently being developed which will enable decision-makers to choose the (sub-) sector of refrigeration, air-conditioning or insulation foam production in which a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) would result in the highest emission reduction.

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