GUIDE China: CO2 heat pump market - the most dynamic natural refrigerant sector in China?

By Janaina Topley Lira, Jun 17, 2015, 17:52 3 minute reading

Data publised in shecco’s GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China - State of the Industry 2015, suggests the CO2 heat pump market is the most dynamic market for natural refrigerants in China today. According to industry forecasts, between 2013 and 2018 the Chinese heat pump market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.86%. 

Drivers and market overview for today 
The market for CO2 heat pumps began its upward rise following a decision by the State Council to phase out 50,000 boilers in 2014. Local bodies in northern China responded by encouraging and providing subsides for the replacement of conventional coal-fired boilers with heat pump technology. 
Today CO2 heat pumps are mostly used in commercial applications for space and water heating. However, since 2014 the use of CO2 heat pumps has started to expand into residential applications, with the introduction of first residential CO2 heat pump water heater by a local manufacturer. 
Overall, it seems more and more local manufactures are testing CO2 technology in heat pumps and as the industry grows more confident, the market can expect to grow rapidly. 
Increased public awareness needed to accelerate market growth 
The GUIDE China argues that government subsidies alongside other policy support measures will be crucial to CO2 heat pumps in these early stages of market development. For example, in March 2015, the Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, together with CHEAA, UNEP, UNIDO and GIZ launched a low-GWP (global warming potential) label to increase consumer awareness of environmental benefits of natural refrigerants in different applications, including CO2 heat pump water heaters for domestic use. The label is applicable to products with GWP lower than 150. 
In an exclusive GUIDE China interview Zhong Zhifeng from FECO, emphasises the need for greater public awareness: There is a need to continue increasing awareness of environmentally friendly technologies amongst end users. The government can initiate this process but continuation of these ideas requires all stakeholders such as manufacturers, distributors, the media, government and experts to work together.” 
In December 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission published the “Top Runner” Energy Label with six other government bodies to increase public awareness on energy efficiency and encourage companies to invest on high-energy efficiency products. In Japan, the “Top Runner” programme proved highly effective in promoting Eco Cute, residential CO2 heat pump water heaters.
What does the future hold?
The GUIDE China industry survey, which collected 1,098 responses, revealed that 71% of respondents believed that the use of natural refrigerants in heating applications would increase “significantly” or “slightly by 2020 in China. Another 22% expect the market to stay the same and only 7% said that the use of natural refrigerants would decrease in heating sector. 
Nobuo Yoshida from Panasonic explained his high expectations for CO2 heat pumps in residential applications: While it is difficult to provide a detailed market forecast for 2020, I believe the main areas of development will be in heat pump water heater and small-scale refrigeration equipment. Take the example of heat pump water heater, sales in the Japanese market are around 500,000 units every year. This is interesting for China as the potential market size for residential heat pump water heaters is much larger than Japan’s and the market is only just beginning. But no matter the size of the market or the development speed, this market is worthy of expectations.”  
Available for free - Chinese edition coming soon
In the near future the Chinese Association of Refrigeration (CAR) will be helping shecco to publish a Chinese language version the ‘GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in China – State of the Industry 2015,’ which will be made available for free on shecco's publications page.


By Janaina Topley Lira

Jun 17, 2015, 17:52

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