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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Future development of the air‐conditioning market in Europe: an outlook until 2020

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While the European space‐heating market has been well researched for more than 20 years, there is still limited information concerning the air‐conditioning (AC) branch. Owing to the rising sensitivity of primary energy utilization, the development of the space cooling (SC) sector is of fundamental importance. We apply Porter's five forces analysis, leading to the conclusion that a fairly steady rise for approximately two decades (since 1990) characterizes the AC market, and it will continue to grow moderately. Research and development (R&D) is the dominant driving force. Similar conclusions come from a multiple‐criteria decision analysis, which shows that the SC market will especially depend on (1) R&D activities, (2) economic crisis, and (3) higher comfort standards requested by the European population. Taking into consideration the outcomes of performed inquiries, including an extensive survey based on expert interviews from all over Europe, the AC market appears to be marked by a slightly positive future development until 2020. The main factors influencing this tendency are the fact that SC is necessary only for specific applications and climates, the customers’ purchasing power reduction, and the electricity price growth. WIREs Energy Environ 2016, 5:649–669. doi: 10.1002/wene.210 This article is categorized under: Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy
Number of installed CACs and RACs per year in the EU [Mil. units].
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Influence of the single external subfactors on the subgoals of the market participants (external subfactors with a negative influence are under the low line; external subfactors with a positive influence are over the low line). 1, Customers’ purchasing power reduction; 2, Competing products; 3, Number of installed units; 4, Energy Efficiency; 5, R&D funding; 6, Energy consumption; 7, Extreme weather events; 8, Customers’ investment funds; 9, Running costs; 10, Disposal costs; 11, Transportation costs; 12, Life span of the equipment; 13, Comfort requests; 14, Size and concentration of the market; and 15, Customer loyalty measures.
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Multiple‐criteria decision analysis scheme.
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Porter's five forces analysis diagram.
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Increase in the energy consumption for space cooling purposes per country in 1990–2010 in the EU, [TWh/a] (1990–2010). Ranking and distance between lines are different in Figures and , because of warmer climatic conditions at the Iberian Peninsula and Greece and the use of less efficient AC equipment in comparison to Italy and Germany. The remaining EU member states’ AC installations are present, especially in the service sector where the SC intensity is higher compared to households.
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Growth of cooled floor area per country in the EU [Mm2] (1990–2010).
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