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Building Matters

The IOR’s international committee is tackling the issue of whether market regulation is stifling innovation and new technology take-up. Miriam Rodway reports

Increased regulation and performance standards are often justified as a way of encouraging innovation and the development of new technologies or green solutions. In reality, however, they can sometimes result in unintended restrictions on the latest and best new technologies, as the market moves faster than the legislators and their incentives.

The IOR’s International Refrigeration Committee is holding a half-day business briefing, exploring the effect that market regulation is having on technology innovation in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sector.

The meeting will focus on three key questions:

  • How can regulations help to drive increased energy efficiency?
  • What can be done at a national level to ensure that international regulations have the right impact?
  • What has been the real consequence of refrigerant phase-out in terms of energy efficiency and market adaptations?

A range of experts from across Europe will take part in the meeting including:

  • Andy Pearson of Star Refrigeration, and past-president of the IOR, who is also involved in the development of European Standards. He will give an overview of regulation the industry can expect to be applied in the near future;
  • Lambert Kuijpers, co-chair of the Technical and Economic Assessments Panel (TEAP), Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heat Pump Technical Options Committee (RTOC) of the UN Environment Programme, who will look at what has been the real impact of refrigerant phase-out and the original F-Gas Regulation;
  • Dan Bibalou from the Carbon Trust, who will discuss how incentives and regulations are being developed by regulators to ensure the market moves towards improved efficiency.;
  • Dina Koepke, director of governmental affairs at Emerson Climate Technologies, who will give a case study of adopting improved European standards has affected the compressor manufacturing business;
  • Chris Playford, engineering manager of Foster Refrigerator; who will provide a case study focusing on regulation driving product development in the commercial cabinet sector and the impact on end-users.

Additional sessions will examine examples from industrial manufacturing, heat pumps and refrigerant innovation to contribute to our understanding of these issues. There will also be a panel debate with representatives from the Department for the Environment and Climate Change, to respond to some of the questions raised.

This event on 9 April in London will be hosted by members of the IOR International Refrigeration Committee. Non-members can also attend for a small fee. For more details see ior.org.uk/briefing or email ior@ior.org.uk.news

The IOR International Refrigeration Committee comprises representatives of a number of companies who work internationally.

Members include Mexichem Fluor; Star Refrigeration; Cambridge Refrigeration Technology;  J&E Hall International; GEA Refrigeration; Greenfield Energy; Howdens; Honeywell; and Klima-Therm.

The Committee’s activity is focused on keeping up with international technology developments, contributing to advancing knowledge through international working groups and promoting the UK refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry.

The IRC is linked to the International Institute of Refrigeration, an intergovernmental body representing 60 countries worldwide. Recent initiatives of the IRC include conferences on the cold chain and contributing to publications on alternative refrigerants.  The IRC will also host the natural refrigeration event in Edinburgh in August 2016, the 12th international Gustav Lorentzen Conference on Natural Working Fluids. This normally attracts more than 300 delegates.  Details on membership of International Refrigeration Committee are available at ior.org.uk.

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