Context: A wide range of renewable-driven technology options already exist in the market. They include among others, solar driven cooling devices, such as solar air conditioners and solar refrigerators, biomass and geothermal driven cooling, or free cooling technologies, which use low-temperatures from the surroundings (e.g sea, lake, river, aquifers) as cooling source. In addition to the climate benefits, renewable energy driven cooling solutions coupled with cold energy storage offer a solution to stabilize already stressed electricity grids by reducing electricity load surges caused by rising AC units.

The range of applications of these solutions is also wide. Renewable cooling has a potential far bigger than many typical applications today. While cooling of the built environment (space cooling) will continue to be the most important market segment, other applications like renewable-based cold storage will grow to significant market shares. Their success in the market will play a decisive role in transforming the heating/cooling market from conventional – mainly fossil – fuels to clean and secure renewable energy.

The availability of data on renewable-driven cooling options is scarce. The renewable cooling market is still small but is growing fast. We need to accelerate the shift to renewable-energy driven cooling solutions by raising awareness, increasing knowledge, and exchanging best practices to scale-up the use and expand the market for these technologies.

Objectives: Promote and mainstream the use of renewable energy in the cooling sector and provide guidance to countries and various stakeholders on how to integrate renewable energy sources in cooling by:

– Mobilizing the institutions, companies, local and national governments that are leading the development and use of RE driven cooling solution. Get their insight and compile their knowledge and best practices to be shared with other cities and countries.

– Reaching out to countries and cities with rising cooling demand. Raise their awareness on renewable energy-drive cooling options, share knowledge and best practices, facilitate peer to peer exchange and provide policy guidance on how to incorporate renewable energy in the cooling sector.


– Lead: Yong Chen, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),

– Co-facilitator: Parimita Mohanty, United Nations Environment Programme,

– Co-facilitator: Celia Martinez, Cool Coalition Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme,

Download the working group’s concept note here.