The phase-out of HCFCs and a 2015 revision the Environmental Protection Law are creating new opportunities for natural refrigerants in room air-conditioning, heat pump, commercial and industrial refrigeration applications in China, heard participants in the Ozone2Climate conference at China Refrigeration in Beijing on Friday (8 April).
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“In China, natural refrigerants can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lead to bluer skies,” Xiao Xuezhi, Deputy Director-General of China’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO), told the gathering of the Ozone2Climate Industry Roundtable at the New China International Exhibition Center.
Under the Montreal Protocol, China has agreed to completely eliminate the production and consumption of HCFCs by 2030. With China currently producing the vast majority (92%) of HCFCs in developing countries, the move to reduce their use will have a major global impact.
Zhang Shigang, country coordinator in the China Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), told the Roundtable that his organisation’s goal was to encourage the adoption of zero-GWP and low-ODP alternatives to climate-damaging refrigerants in China.
In February, Zhong Zhifeng from FECO told R744.com how several policy developments in 2016 – including issuing a list of recommended substitutes for HCFCs, finalising proposals for Stage II of the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan and revising national standards for natural refrigerants – would together represent a significant shift towards a more sustainable HVAC&R industry.
Zhifeng suggested that natural refrigerants would feature strongly in the catalogue of recommended substitutes for HCFCs.
<strong>Towards greater uptake of natural refrigerants in China</strong>
Jan Dusek, business development manager, shecco Japan, sees the Chinese government “putting an increasing emphasis on maintaining a competitive edge in the world market by improving energy efficiency and keeping up with global technology advances”.
This could trigger increased uptake of hydrocarbons for residential air conditioning and plug-in commercial refrigeration, and greater use of CO2 for heat pump water heaters in residential, commercial and industrial applications, he told the Roundtable.
Research conducted by shecco indicates that over 200 companies in China were already offering natural refrigerant technologies in 2015.
Retail display cases, vending machines and bottle coolers are a particularly strong growth area, with over 750,000 in China already using CO2 or hydrocarbons.
“The use of natural refrigerants in light commercial refrigeration is a strong trend in most major economies,” said Dusek, adding: “China is the fastest growing world market for commercial refrigeration.”
Using natural refrigerants for vending machines and bottle coolers contributes to lowering f-gas emissions, thereby helping companies to achieve their corporate sustainability objectives, he argued.
Source: <a href="http://www.hydrocarbons21.com" target="_blank">www.hydrocarbons21.com</a>