Edging closer to a breakthrough in cooling technology

virgin_unite-global_cooling_prize- GCP-RMI
Global Cooling Prize
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
26 November 2020
The Global Cooling Prize (GCP) is a one-of-a kind innovation competition, setting out to identify a major breakthrough in residential cooling technology.

Established in 2018 by the Rocky Mountain Institute – an organisation Virgin Unite is proud to support and partner with – the competition is searching for a climate-friendly cooling solution that can provide cooling for all, without warming the planet.

About the Competition | Global Cooling Prize

“When we launched the Global Cooling Prize we did it with a lot of hope, but we did not know if we would be successful in finding a technology that could provide access to cooling for all, without warming the planet. Today I can proudly say that we are on our way to achieving our goal," said Richard Branson.

Since the launch of the GCP, Virgin Unite has followed the prize and its progress very closely – from applications, to the announcement of finalists, we have shared updates and news with our community. We’re thrilled that the GCP has now entered its ‘Real-World Testing’ phase, which sees finalists’ prototypes perform under real-world conditions in India.

“We are incredibly grateful to the finalists who have shown us the power of human ingenuity and the testing team in India that have enabled us to show the World what is possible. Snapshots of what we have seen are represented in the Dashboard, showcasing the potential for a room AC to have staggeringly lower climate impact,” said Iain Campbell, Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute.

Global Cooling Prize
Global Cooling Prize

The Prototype Performance Dashboard showcases an hourly snapshot of performance and allows users to not only see how the finalists’ prototypes stack up against one another, but also how they compare to the baseline units being tested. 

Users can see how the prototypes are performing with relation to the 5X climate reduction parameter (a measure ensuring the mitigation of 0.5°C of warming by 2100), as well as the climate impact of the best available technology currently on the market.

Lastly, the dashboard showcases the gigatons of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions that could be avoided annually if the best performing unit of that day were scaled globally. 

Global Cooling Prize
Global Cooling Prize

We are sending our best wishes to the finalists vying for more than US$1 million in prize funds as the competition moves through this final testing stage. To learn more about this fantastic initiative, spurring the development of a radically more energy-efficient cooling technology, visit their website.

In December 2014, Carbon War Room (which was co-founded in 2009 by Richard Branson and a team of like-minded entrepreneurs wanting to speed up the adoption of market-based solutions to climate change) merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute – a US-based NGO, dedicated to transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.