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Air conditioning has a big climate impact. This new technology could be a game changer

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Time or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Last September, California faced unprecedented electricity demand due to a severe heatwave, nearly causing the state's grid to collapse 
• Instead, California avoided disaster by urging reduced electricity use and leveraging large-scale battery storage 
• As global warming escalates, the demand for cooling through air conditioning is expected to spike dramatically, further straining energy systems

🔭 The context: Buildings are the largest consumers of energy in the U.S., accounting for 39% of total energy usage and 74% of electricity 
• The demand for cooling in buildings is the fastest growing energy use, projected to triple globally by 2050 
• The trend increases reliance on fossil fuels, particularly during peak demand periods like heatwaves

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The surge in air conditioning use heightens the reliance on high-emitting "peaker" power plants during hot months, which significantly boosts carbon emissions 
• Innovations like the IceBrick™ thermal storage technology, which uses ice for cooling, can markedly reduce this environmental impact by lowering energy consumption and carbon emissions

⏭️ What's next: Thermal energy storage systems, like those developed by Nostromo, are gaining traction as viable solutions to decentralize and reduce the energy load during peak times 
• These systems not only help in managing energy consumption more efficiently but also promote the use of renewable energy sources by storing energy for use when needed

💬 One quote: “Air conditioning is the enemy of climate change. During peak hours around half of all electricity goes to AC, and we are holding onto a lot of these fossil fuel emitting power plants to be able to fuel this demand,” (Yoram Ashery, CEO of Nostromo)

📈 One stat: Nostromo estimates that its IceBrick™ system can save hotels 30-50% on cooling costs and cut carbon emissions by about 200 metric tons annually

Click for more news covering the latest on energy


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