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AC demand in developing countries could put chill on energy supply

Monday, August 12, 2013

ANN ARBOR—The United States uses more energy for air conditioning than all other countries combined, but its status as the world's largest AC energy hog may soon be in jeopardy, said a University of Michigan researcher.

A new study by Michael Sivak, research professor and director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the U-M Transportation Research Institute, shows that if the rest of the world adopts the same AC usage patterns found in the U.S.—and more and more countries certainly are—eight nations have the potential to surpass the American yardstick of high air-conditioning use.

"Several developing countries rank among both the most populous and hottest areas in the world," Sivak said. "As personal incomes rise in these countries, use of air conditioning will likely go up, leading to an unprecedented increase in energy demand. Rapid increases in the ownership of air conditioners are already occurring in many developing countries." ...

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