On 1 February, shecco presented data from its latest industry surveys on natural refrigerant markets at the symposium “Progress towards an F-gas free future” organised by Japanese NGO KIKO Network. Speakers from government, industry and academia got together to discuss global trends, policy and technology developments, and progress towards the faster uptake of natural working fluids.
The symposium was organised in three sections. The first part was dedicated to presenting a domestic and international policy overview and global market trends. Jan Dusek, shecco’s market analyst based in Tokyo, presented latest trends from North American and European markets based on the results of surveys conducted by shecco in 2011 and 2012.
The global market trends presentation continued with an introduction to two key upcoming projects for Japan: ATMOsphere Asia, the first Asian workshop on natural refrigerants, which will soon be officially announced; and GUIDE Japan 2013, the third in shecco’s series of free market research publications that will serve to promote Japanese natural refrigerant technology worldwide but also domestically as more and more Japanese end-users are interested in these environment friendly solutions.
Solutions to the Fluorinated Gases Problematic
On behalf of the Japanese government Hiroki Iwamatsu from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and Ms. Kimura from the Ministry of Environment addressed several topics including an upcoming revision of national policy and on-going close cooperation on natural refrigerant technology development with tJapanese industry.
During the second part of the event, representatives of two Japanese companies introduced their F-gas free solutions for cleaning and dust blowing products. Finally, in the third part, four major players on the domestic and international markets presented their position on natural refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning, among them Japanese supplier Mayekawa highlighting various solutions using only the “natural five” refrigerants ammonia, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, water and air in a range of applications from 90°C down to -100°C.
Japanese end-users also showcased their efforts to introduce natural refrigerants to their supermarkets and convenience stores. Shinichirou Uto, director at Lawson, a leading Japanese retailer, stated that by the end of 2012, Lawson had 75 stores with CO2 transcritical refrigeration and plans to increase this number by another 100 in 2013. By 2015, CO2 refrigeration is expected to become a standard in all new Lawson’s stores.
Japan – a growing market for Natural Refrigerants and shecco
Today, Japan has a 98% share of CO2 heat pumps in the domestic water heater market and over the years has installed tens of thousands of absorption chillers. The latest developments in the commercial refrigeration sector, with the switch to CO2, indicates that the time has come for Japan to catch up in a sector where Europe has so far been leading.
With the two major projects shecco plans for 2013 in Japan – ATMOsphere Asia and GUIDE Japan – and a new permanent presence in Tokyo, allowing for more live reporting from key industry events throughout Japan, shecco hopes to help stimulate the domestic market and the faster uptake of natural refrigerants technology inside and outside of Japan.