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Symphony, in partnership with Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy

Symphony Ltd., in partnership with Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE), initiated the first-of-its-kind pilot program “SAHARA”, an initiative for Supporting Affordable Heat Action for Resilient Academic Institutions in India by deploying Evaporative Air Coolers. It is envisioned to enable a pathway to achieve Thermal Comfort for a Billion Lives (TCBL). This initiative aims to mainstream energy-efficient, affordable, and sustainable cooling solutions in India’s academic Institutions to bring a paradigm shift at the ecosystem level and enable TCBL.

With around four trillion-person cooling degree days, India is characterized by tropical and sub-tropical climatic conditions coupled with a lack of access to cooling, rising temperatures, and ever-evolving socio-economic trends such as rapid population growth and urbanization, which will not only amplify the climate change-induced heat stress but would also fuel the demand for space cooling.

SAHARA program would act as a catalyst for disseminating knowledge about the thermal comfort situation in India’s academic institutions. It could bring about systemic changes on multiple fronts in the long term, ranging from enhanced thermal comfort conditions for children in academic institutions, students’ improved willingness to go to school, and improved educational outcomes. SAHARA program is envisioned to contribute toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 3 (Good health and well-being), 4 (quality education), 11 (sustainable cities and communities) & 13 (climate action).

Mr. Amit Kumar, Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Symphony Ltd, mentioned, “It has been substantiated that India’s rapidly changing climate would severely impact the entire ecosystem, particularly children. With rising temperatures and an urgent need to address thermal comfort, we have all forgotten a crucial segment of our nation, the school children. This collaborative initiative would facilitate pathways for enabling more comfortable environments in schools through evaporative air coolers.”

Dr. Satish Kumar, President, and Executive Director, AEEE, stated, “Climate Crisis has moved beyond the gamut of mitigation to an urgent need for adaptation. Children have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups adversely impacted by the rising heat stress. Efforts should be made to provide thermal comfort in settings where children, spend a lot of their time during the hottest hours – schools, kindergartens, and other academic institutions. Evaporative air coolers are affordable, less energy-intensive, and work especially well during the hot season with low to medium humidity. The technology needs to be encouraged for wider adoption in schools as it will also help in reducing the peak electrical load on the grid and provide the much needed thermal comfort that is critical for better learning.”

The “SAHARA Programme” envisions providing access to thermal comfort for children in India’s academic institutions, which is the most under-looked area. The project’s impact areas are 1) Health and well-being, 2) Refrigerant demand & energy consumption, 5) GHG emissions reduction and contribution to Net Zero, and 6) Enabling learning conditions, Awareness generation, and sensitization.

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