Berkeley Lab’s Mexico Energy Initiative (MEI) participated in the second workshop launching the partnership of the state of Sonora with the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a global initiative that facilitates access to technical assistance and industry engagement for member cities advancing building energy efficiency. The event was held in Hermosillo by the Commission of Ecology and Sustainable Development of the State of Sonora (CEDES) with attendance by government officials, experts from research institutions in the state, construction professionals, and representatives of building technology companies.
MEI’s participation in the workshop was part of the activities of the Mexico Cooling Initiative, a comprehensive strategy devised with support from USAID to address the impacts of the increasing use of energy for air conditioning in Mexico. Dr. Michael McNeil, MEI’s Lead, highlighted the growing use of air conditioners around the world and the urbanization trends that will dramatically increase ownership of AC equipment in the country (from 14% of all urban households to 45% by 2050) with related economic and environmental impacts.
In the case of Sonora, located in a hot-dry environment in Northern Mexico, average temperatures in the summer months approach 105 degrees F; the state registers the highest electricity consumption of electricity for cooling in the country. Dr. McNeil announced that MEI will be conducting a field study to measure the consumption of electricity by mini-split air conditioners at a sample of households in Hermosillo with good time resolution (~15 min) for entire cooling season (May-Oct).
As part of the commitments made by Sonora in joining BEA (2017), at the policy level the state will implement adjustment infrastructure measures on buildings under CEDES coordination and will set up a pilot program for retrofit of municipal buildings. The Mexico Office of the World Resources Institute (WRI) will coordinate local BEA partners in this collaboration.
The presentation delivered by Dr. McNeil can be viewed here.