Market map shows over 6,500 CO2 transcritical stores worldwide

By Justina Tamasiunaite, Sep 30, 2015, 16:29 4 minute reading

New research reveals that CO2 transcritical stores are on the rise in the United States and Canada, while Europe and Japan remain the leading markets for adoption.

In two years, the commercial refrigeration sector’s use of CO2 as a refrigerant has increased considerably in the United States and Canada. North America has reached a growth rate of more than 200% in transcritical installations, with 191 systems completed or planned as of August 2015 (including noteworthy progress in the United States).

“California dreaming”

shecco’s GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in North America – State of the Industry 2015 reveals that California is the leading state in the adoption of CO2 transcritical systems, with twenty systems either already installed or to be installed in the near future. The second best, New York, has eight CO2 transcritical stores at the moment.

Altogether, the growth of CO2 transcritical systems in the United States is significant, with an increase from two in 2013 to 52 in 2015 (planned). Particularly, the use of transcritical systems has also advanced to now reach states with warm ambient temperatures, with CO2 installations in California, Georgia and Florida, demonstrating the growing technological improvements of CO2 transcritical solutions.

Policy, incentives drive adoption in Québec

The GUIDE also finds that the Canadian province of Québec currently experiences the fastest growth in CO2 transcritical stores in all of North America. In particular, Québec profits from a positive policy framework and direct incentive schemes. Sobeys, one of Canada’s leading retailers, has installed 58 transcritical systems in Québec, taking the province’s total number of stores to 94.

The rising numbers of CO2 transcritical systems show the swift turn the market is taking, with more and more retailers becoming conscious of the upcoming policy changes that will have a vast impact on their business. Sobey’s noted it decided to move to CO2 transcritical because it “did not want to relive another phase-out, a Montreal Protocol 3.0.”

Europe the clear leader in CO2 transcritical stores, Japan a close second

The GUIDE finds that CO2 transcritical stores are increasing steadily in Europe. For example, CO2 transcritical stores grew 117%, from 1,330 to 2,885 stores from 2011 to 2013. Already, this year Europeans are shopping in more than 5,200 transcritical supermarkets. It is foreseen that, starting from next year, more than 6,000 CO2 transcritical systems will be installed in European supermarkets each year. By this order of magnitude, there could be more than 32,000 CO2 transcritical systems by 2020 and the figure could reach even more than 64,000 stores in 2025.

As for Japan, the number of CO2 transcritical stores has very rapidly increased from just 190 in 2014 to 1,000 in 2015. In particular, Japanese end users such as retailers Lawson and AEON have driven this incredible increase of 500% in just over a year. Lawson currently has 700 CO2 transcritical stores and AEON is planning to exclusively use CO2 refrigerant in its new stores starting in 2015 while retrofitting their existing 3,500 stores progressively with CO2 systems.

China’s transcritical CO2 dragon is yet to spread its wings

China’s use of natural refrigerants in the commercial refrigeration sector is currently in its early days, with Chinese industry exploring the use of CO2 transcritical solutions for supermarkets.

Currently, there is only one supermarket in Dalian (Liaoning province) trialing a CO2 transcritical system. Once testing is complete, it is expected that more CO2 transcritical stores will be developed and built in different parts of the country. Additionally, Metro is planning to finish its first CO2 transcritical supermarket in 2016-2017.

There is an expected growing trend in this country as natural refrigerants continue their slow expansion in the Chinese market.

State of play in Africa and elsewhere

The CO2 refrigeration sector is also changing in Africa, beginning in 2010, when Commercial Refrigeration Services Ltd. (a Johannesburg-based company) launched its first CO2 transcritical system in South Africa. Now, the southernmost country in Africa counts 52 transcritical CO2 stores (the same number as the United States).

The GUIDE’s world map also includes Turkey, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, which currently total 24 transcritical CO2 stores, taking CO2 transcritical solutions to a number of more than 6,500 stores at a global level.

The GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in North America – State of the Industry 2015

The GUIDE to Natural Refrigerants in North America – State of the Industry 2015 was published by Brussels-based market accelerator shecco. It is a comprehensive market report that provides an update on the market, policy and technology developments on natural refrigerants in North America.

To learn more, read the GUIDE North America here.


By Justina Tamasiunaite

Sep 30, 2015, 16:29

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