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K-CEP establishes Million Cool Roofs Challenge

The Kigali Cooling Efficiency program (K-CEP) has announced the Million Cool Roofs Challenge. A US$2 million global competition, the initiative is designed to rapidly scale up the deployment of highly solar-reflective “cool” roofs in developing countries.

The Challenge will award US$100,000 grants to up to 10 teams this year to deploy solar reflective coating and/or materials in an eligible country between August 2019 and December 2020.

“Through innovative coating materials, cool roofs can reduce indoor temperatures by 2–3°C in buildings, helping reduce demand for air conditioning for those that can afford it, while providing a passive cooling solution for the billions who cannot,” K-CEP says.

“In the most vulnerable countries, over one billion people face significant risks from extreme heat every year, and live without access to electricity for cooling. Another 2.3 billion can afford to purchase only the most inefficient models of air conditioning. The increasing demand for cooling, if not better managed, is a colossal climate threat.”

From December 2020, US$1 million will be awarded in 2021 to the team demonstrating the best sustainable and transferable model for rapid deployment of cool roofs.

“The final prize will be awarded to the team that has the most effective, sustainable and replicable model for scaling up the deployment of cool roofs,” K-CEP says.

The winning team must provide evidence of its approach’s effectiveness by demonstrating one million square meters of cool roofing in a specific geographic area while meeting certain standards and criteria.

Applications are due by May 20.

The Challenge is a project of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) in collaboration with the Global Cool Cities Alliance, Sustainable Energy for All and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre.

“Cooling is essential to human health and prosperity, and is becoming more important as the world urbanises, economies grow, and the planet heats up,” K-CEP says. “Current cooling technologies, such as air conditioning and refrigeration, rely on human-made F-gases that are almost 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing global warming. Left unchecked, F-gases could account for nearly 20 per cent of climate pollution by 2050.”

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