Natural refrigerant technologies are a good investment for companies looking to future-proof their businesses, said Ilana Koegelenberg, Market Development Manager & Co-Founder, ATMOsphere (formerly shecco).

Koegelenberg shared this view during the ATMOsphere Europe 2021 conference, which took place online September 28-29. ATMOsphere Europe was organized by ATMOsphere, publisher of this website.

“Natural refrigerants are here to stay,” Koegelenberg said, “and can be viewed as a good investment for any company looking to future-proof its business.”

“This is really a good sector to invest in, and for those who have done so already, you are making good choices,” she added.

In supporting this viewpoint, Koegelenberg drew from ATMOsphere’s recently published “Natural Refrigerants Market Forecast” report. The report highlighted the latest market, technology and policy trends impacting natural refrigerant technologies, and provided estimates of current installations and projected growth to 2025 and 2030 in commercial and industrial refrigeration in Europe, the U.S., and Japan.

The report is available for purchase here.

Policy impacts

The report identified the standards and policy trends in the U.S., Europe and Japan that are having the biggest impact on natural refrigerant adoption.

“We did quite a significant section on standards and policy because they really are the biggest driver and barrier for natural refrigerant growth,” said Koegelenberg. “You need the restrictions from policy or you need some incentives to drive the growth and incentivize people to switch to more climate-friendly technologies.”

For example, Europe’s leading position in natural refrigerant adoption is attributed to its F-Gas Regulation. “We’ve seen it so many times, particularly in Europe where the standards and policy come first and then the rest follows,” she said.

The first F-Gas Regulation, adopted in 2006, stabilized f-gas emissions in the EU at 2010 levels. This was replaced in 2015 by the current EU F-Gas Regulation N517/2014, aimed at strengthening already existing measures and introducing changes with the goal of cutting f-gas emissions by two-thirds (of 2014 levels) by 2030. That regulation is currently under review.

Other major trends Koegelenberg addressed include the increasing competition between natural refrigerants and HFOs, the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of looking at GWP values over 20 years instead of 100 years.

In addition, Koegelenberg spoke about the most important technology specific trends affecting the market. These include the update of hydrocarbon charge limits in key regions, the increasing efficiency of transcritical CO2 systems in warm climates, and the increasing use of low-charge ammonia systems globally.

Market size estimates and projections

Koegelenberg shared market size estimates and projections from the report, including natural refrigerant system installations in Europe’s commercial and industrial refrigeration sectors.

“We looked at the key regions and saw that Europe has gone from 29,000 in 2020 to 40,000 transcritical CO2 installations in 2021 (in commercial and industrial refrigeration), based on our latest data collection this year,” she said. “A lot of this is due to the F-gas regulations and the bans that have just come into play. We expect this number to climb very quickly.”

Koegelenberg also noted the market penetration rates for transcritical CO2 in commercial refrigeration in Europe (14.1%), the Japan (7.4%) and the U.S. (0.4%).

In addition, Koegelenberg disclosed that there are currently an estimated 2.7 million plug-in hydrocarbon commercial refrigeration systems and 2,450 low-charge ammonia systems installed in Europe.

“This is really a good sector to invest in, and for those who have done so already, you are making good choices.”

Ilana Koegelenberg, ATMOsphere

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