The first edition of InterAIR Asia, 27-28 March will focus on the challenges of Air Quality Monitoring and Control in Asia.
InterAIR Asia will attract:
AIR QUALITY IN ASIA
According to the WHO, some 8 million people die as a result of air pollution every year, with 4.2 million deaths resulting from exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution and 3.8 million due to indoor exposure to smoke from dirty cookstoves and fuels.
Overall, the WHO says 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.
Clean Air Asia, an NGO and regional resource hub for air quality management training, says 98% of cities in low and middle-income countries with populations of more than 100,000 are suffering from heavily polluted air.
Meanwhile, the global air quality monitoring system (AQMS) market is projected to reach USD 4.9bn by 2022, an annual growth rate of 4.6%, with the Asia Pacific region expected to grow the strongest.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH
The health effects of air pollution are serious and the WHO estimates that a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution. This is equivalent to the deaths caused by smoking tobacco and much higher than the effects of eating too much salt. The lack of visible smog is no indication that the air is healthy.
Air pollution knows no boundaries. Microscopic pollutants in the air can slip past our body’s defences, penetrating deep into our respiratory and circulatory system, damaging lungs, hearts and brains. The problem is exacerbated by rapid urbanisation and climate change.
There are four main types of air pollution sources:
Much work is being done to monitor and control air pollution and to more accurately identify where it comes from. Much of this work involves combining data from various air quality monitoring networks, atmospheric modelling and satellite remote sensing.
AIR QUALITY AND SOLAR POWER
Air pollution can also have a significant impact on solar energy, reducing the output of the solar panels. Dust and other air pollutants can produce a haze that darkens the sky and cuts the amount sunlight reaching the panels.
Recent research published in the journal 'Energy & Environmental Science' shows that these effects are indeed substantial and in some cases can mean the difference between a successful solar power installation and one that fails to meet expected production levels and possibly operates at a loss.
A 2017 survey of the effect on the electricity production can be huge, and it estimates that across parts of India, China and the Arabian Peninsula alone, pollution can slash electricity from solar energy by 17 to 25%.
As well as the impact of haze, if pollutant particles land on a panel’s flat surface, they will further block how much light gets through to the solar cells below. Such dust can come from natural sources, such as windswept soils, as well as pollutants resulting from driving cars, powering factories and converting coal to electricity.
THE MAIN DRIVERS OF AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
The major factors driving the growth of the air quality monitoring system market include supportive government regulations for effective air pollution monitoring and control, initiatives to develop more of environmentally friendly industries (e.g. clean energy), increasing public-private funding for effective air pollution monitoring, rising levels of air pollution, and increasing public awareness related to the environmental and healthcare implications of air pollution.
Within cities, which are a major source of pollution, the main drivers towards improving air quality range from controls on burning of fossil fuels, to vehicle congestion charging, higher taxes on diesel and older vehicles, and the electrification of urban transport.
According to Prescient Strategic Intelligence, advances in technology and huge untapped potential in emerging economies are two key factors offering growth opportunities in the air quality monitoring market. Prescient says that technological advances are revolutionising the way air quality is monitored and controlled, while various government organisations and market vendors are actively focusing on research to develop, evaluate, and implement new air quality technologies.