Paris plans to expand its urban cooling system, which uses a network of underground water pipes, and make it available to small companies and residential buildings as global warming increases the number of aircon units in the city, deputy mayor Jean-Louis Missika said on Monday.
Paris, in partnership with French utility Engie, operates a cooling grid using water from the Seine river, but the 75 km (47 mile) network mainly services hospitals, hotels, museums and department stores. It has no residential customers.
“We do not want global warming to lead to a profusion of individual aircon units. These are inefficient, polluting and they add to local warming. And they are ugly,” Missika told Reuters on the sidelines of an Engie seminar.
France has seen a series of heatwaves in recent summers and on July 25 the French capital recorded a temperature of 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest since records began.
Missika said Paris wants its Climespace cooling network - Europe’s biggest - to cover 100% of the city’s area over the next 20 years, from about 43% today, and make it available to non-institutional customers.