United for Efficiency supports Rwanda’s transition to sustainable cooling solutions in the built environment. A holistic approach has been underway since 2018 that ranges from ambitious policies to financial mechanisms, communications campaigns, recycling of old products, and capacity building to ensure that impacts are sustained well into the future. Rwanda has been a champion of sustainable cooling in a variety of arenas, with its capitol as the namesake for the Kigali Amendment.
United for Efficiency supports Rwanda towards meeting its energy efficiency and climate change goals through the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES) and Rwanda Cooling Initiative (R-COOL) projects. In 2023, these projects received additional funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Programme which will contribute to the implementation of appliance standards, a product registration system and related aspects of R-COOL, as well as operationalisation of the first ACES Rwandan SPOKE (Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Establishment).
ACES PROJECT DETAILS
AFRICA CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE COOLING AND COLD CHAIN (ACES)
ACES was officially launched in 2020 by the Governments of Rwanda and the United Kingdom (Defra), the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency initiative, the Centre for Sustainable Cooling, and a range of academic institutions. It is hosted by the University of Rwanda (UR) at its Rubirizi Campus in Kigali. The Centre aims to develop and accelerate uptake of sustainable cold chain solutions in the agriculture and health sectors throughout Africa. ACES is executed in four phases:
- Phase I (Q3 2020 – Q2 2021, completed)
Conduct Cooling Needs Assessment (and review other studies) to underpin the concept of the Centre.
Establish governance structure and formalize agreements across core partners.
- Phase II (2021 – 2022)
Headquarters campus design, technology definition, staffing definition, hire initial staff.
Build and commission facilities, procure and install equipment, expand staffing.
Initiate RDD&D, academic research and learning programmes, etc.
- Phase III (2022)
First Specialized Outreach and Knowledge Establishments (SPOKE) in Kenya and 2nd Centre of Excellence in India.
Design, technology definition, staffing definition, hire staff.
Build and commission facilities, buy and install equipment, train local technicians, raise awareness of farmers and agribusinesses, initiate operations.
- Phase IV (2023 onwards)
Scale-up to include pan-African SPOKEs.
Disseminate ACES solutions more broadly in communities beyond SPOKEs.
Exchange lessons learned across SPOKEs and externally via Headquarters.
In August 2022, the work of the centre was featured in an article in The New Yorker in the context of the growth of refrigeration in Rwanda and the opportunities it presents for economic growth. To read the article, Africa’s Cold Rush and the Promise of Refrigeration, click here.
ACES PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
R-COOL PROJECT DETAILS
RWANDA COOLING INITIATIVE (R-COOL) AND RWANDA COOLING FINANCE INITIATIVE (R-COOL FI)
R-COOL aims to transition the market to environmentally friendly and energy efficient cooling technologies. Rwanda Cooling Finance Initiative (R-COOL FI) is an on-wage financial mechanism, where eligible salaried employees from the public and private sectors may request loans from participating banks to purchase new cooling appliances that meet strict performance criteria. R-COOL FI is implemented by REMA, and supported by U4E and Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE). The project aims to unlock USD 4 million in financing to support the purchase of 12,500 energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling products in Rwanda by 2024, which can be scaled-up thereafter to cover additional opportunities. R-COOL and R-COOL FI is made possible by funding from the Clean Cooling Collaborative (formerly K-CEP) and the Government of Rwanda.
- Conduct a market assessment
- Draft a National Cooling Strategy and facilitate minimum energy performance standards and labels adoption
- Develop financial mechanisms – Coolease (commercial) and R-COOL GO (residential)
- Develop and implement communication campaign
- Create a toolkit on Rwanda’s approach and provide capacity building in EAC
R-COOL PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
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