Chances are, if you live in Shanghai, you will have the air-conditioner on today, although probably at a lower setting than during the last two months.
And you may even be thinking ahead to when the days draw in and the city plunges into its bone-chilling winter.
China is one of those countries that needs to heat its homes heavily in winter and then refrigerate them in summer, resulting in its huge energy consumption.
I don’t have any statistics about how big a share of China’s carbon emissions come from its heating and cooling needs, but I suspect the sum is growing, as more and more air-conditioners make their way to the countryside.
So it was eye-opening to hear some statistics the other day from Joerg Wuttke, the head of BASF, the German chemicals company, in China. BASF manufactures insulation, of course, so it has done some digging into what the costs are of heating and cooling an average Shanghainese home.
The answer is it costs 5.5 tons of coal each year, adding up to a total of 33 million tons of coal for Shanghai.
But if only those homes were insulated? (Preferably with BASF’s latest product, of course, says Wuttke!) Then you only need 1.5 tons of coal, a possible saving of 24 million tons of coal a year.
There are plenty of Chinese companies that are jumping on the insulation bandwagon, such as Broad airconditioners in Changsha, and it makes simple economic sense. And then we can all feel a bit warmer when the winter comes.
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