At the largest ever EuroShop trade fair, organised 16 – 20 February, in Dusseldorf, Germany, shecco unveiled the results of a survey that showed natural refrigerant solutions were widely considered a better investment than HFC systems. At least two thirds of leading retailers in Western and Northern Europe have chosen to implement natural refrigerant technology in their stores, according to the study commissioned by Carrier, a world leader in high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions.
Presenting some of the strongest evidence to date that natural refrigerants are now a mainstream solution in the commercial refrigeration sector, shecco said retailers in Germany, France, UK, Denmark and Norway considered these to be on par with HFC systems in terms of reliability and safety, rated as critical factors in the purchase or new refrigeration technology. Natural refrigerants are also considered to be on parity in terms of return on investment (ROI) and life-cycle costs.
“This research reflects the shift we’ve observed across the industry over the past two years,” said Thierry Jomard, president, Carrier Commercial Refrigeration, Europe. “What we’re seeing today is an intersection point between legislation on one side, and on the other side, increased acceptance of how natural refrigerant technologies can contribute towards the overarching goals of carbon footprint reduction and increased energy efficiency.”
Carbon footprint reduction through low GWP refrigeration a high priority for European retailers
According to Nina Masson’s presentation, policies to drive carbon footprint reduction through refrigeration with the use of energy-efficient and low GWP refrigerants are viewed as the most important environmental feature to increase a store’s energy efficiency.
“While legislation can be a key driver in accelerating the pace of deployment of sustainability activities by retailers, more and more food retailers are proactively seeking new substances and technologies to align with their companies’ sustainability agendas, promising direct and indirect business value,” said Nina Masson, shecco’s Head of Market Research.
The study also revealed a majority (51.7%) of respondents would be willing to shorten their investment cycles to promote the uptake of more environmentally sustainable refrigeration technology.
CO2 is an especially attractive refrigerant for centralised systems
With regards to the different natural refrigerant options available, for 75% of the survey respondents CO2 is the preferred refrigerant for centralised supermarket refrigeration systems, increasingly implemented in CO2transcritical booster systems. These have almost doubled in number in Europe since shecco’s first market survey in 2012, helping Europe to maintain its position as a world leader in CO2 commercial refrigeration. Within Europe Denmark remains the market leader with more than 712 CO2 transcritical supermarkets, followed by the United Kingdom, with 441, Germany, with 428, and Norway, with 310.
Masson said that a key future technology trend for CO2 commercial refrigeration is the development of solutions for warm climates. Already, the so-called “CO2 efficiency equator” is moving further south thanks to technologies such as economizers, ejectors and sub cooling, deigned to improve the efficiency of CO2 transcritical systems in climates with extended periods of high temperatures and also climates with high peak temperatures.
For more than a decade marketing & communications expert shecco has been active in helping bring climate friendly technologies faster to market. shecco supports over 100+ partners worldwide in two areas: the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants; and the transport sectors where an emphasis is put on electric vehicles (cars, heavy duty vehicle, scooters, bikes). shecco offers a variety of services, ranging from world-leading online industry platforms, to market research & consultancy services, events management, funding & grants support, and public affairs.
Head of Market Research
Janaina Topley Lira