shecco has presented a summary of its newest European study among North and Western European food retailers at a dedicated expert talk organised by German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe. The event explored next steps after the European F-Gas Regulation has increased pressure on food retailers to adopt more sustainable refrigeration, heating and cooling solutions.
Organised by German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), the event on 14 May 2014 in DUH’s premises in Berlin, gathered around 30 German and Austrian stakeholders active in the field of environmentally-friendly refrigeration solutions for the food retail sector. This included leading food retail chains, representatives from German ministries and environmental agencies, as well as system and component suppliers.
The 3 hours long event “F-Gas Revision and its Impact on the Food Retail Sector” was organised by DUH to further discussion about concrete steps to be taken by the end-user and supplying sector to fully comply with upcoming European use restrictions on the use of fluorinated high global warming gases. A strong focus was put on the viability of natural, non-fluorinated, refrigerants, including carbon dioxide CO2 and the group of hydrocarbons (HCs).
shecco presents results from European Food Retail study
shecco was invited for a presentation to set the scene by summarising results from its latest European study on sustainability initiatives among Western and Northern European food retailers. A special emphasis was put on the current use of CO2 and HCs, food retailers’ selection criteria for new refrigeration equipment, as well as opinions on the use of hydrocarbons in systems with larger refrigerant charge size.
“Natural refrigerants alleviate legislative pressure on the German and European food retail sector stemming from clear new rules under the revised F-Gas Regulation. Respondents to the survey have confirmed that the overall HFC phase down and bans on the use of fluorinated gases in centralised systems for food retail have had a distinct influence on their strategies to opt for natural gases,” said Nina Masson, Head of Market Research who presented at the event.
“A variety of technology options for CO2 and hydrocarbon-based systems is available or will become available soon. We can expect a stronger uptake even in Southern and Eastern European countries to start as a result of not only HFC use restrictions, but as a confirmation of a beneficial business case for natural refrigerants that is becoming clearer year by year,” Masson added.
CO2 and HCs viable alternatives
Other presentations during the event, from contractor Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau (Germany) and system supplier AHT Cooling Systems (Austria), drew attention to the technical and commercial viability of CO2 and hydrocarbon-based systems. While costs for CO2 systems are steadily coming down, also driven by a higher standardisation on one side and a wider availability of component and system solutions on the other, the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants in systems with a refrigerant charge of higher than 150 g is expected to add further dynamism to the European market.
Participants agreed that higher awareness would still be needed, in combination with more effective training and education measures for end-users and maintenance staff, to accelerate the market uptake of natural refrigerants.
For more than a decade market development 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.