- The worldwide market for air conditioning was estimated by BSRIA as being 34 billion USD in 2001 and was forecast to reach 39 billion USD in 2004. The Freedonia Group predicts a rise to 56 billion USD by 2008. Fastest growth will occur in the Asia/Pacific region, particularly in China. Demand will remain strong in Japan, North America and Europe, where comfort air conditioning is expanding. Minisplits have the lion's share of the market (over half the market and rising almost 10%/year). Chinese manufacturers are the leaders, producing over 15 million units/year, followed by Japanese South Korean and Thai manufacturers. The US leads the chiller market and Germany has secured a strong position for reciprocating screw and scroll compressors. BSRIA estimates that world production ofcompressors has reached a level of 6.5 billion USD for air conditioning and 5.4 billion USD for refrigeration. It is predicted that the phase-out of the 100 million HCFC units in service worldwide by 2010 will provide valuable opportunities for manufacturers. - In Europe, Eurovent/Cecomaf estimates European-manufactured sales as being 10.4 billion euros, and total sales 25 billion euros, in 2002. Frost & Sullivan consider that the European Union refrigeration market still hold opportunities thanks to new shopping facilities and improved cold chains. The shift to more environmentally friendly refrigerants, along with taxes on energy consumption, are expected to drive the market. European sales of split systems have risen from 1 million to 3.5 million units (3 billion € over the past 10 years). Room and packaged systems dominate the market in southern Europe, where mini-splits are expanding 5%/year. Sales of central plant systems have reached almost 2 billion € in Europe, with Germany leading at a manufacturing level. Italy is the largest market for chillers, followed by France, Spain and Germany. Half of the 122 000 air-handling units sold in Europe in 2003 were sold in Germany. - VDKF, the German Association of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration enterprises (comprising roughly 1200 companies and 16 000 employees), estimates that the German market for air conditioners, refrigeration and heating equipment is 5.4 billion € and VDMA, the German Association of the Mechanical Industry) considers that 50 000 people are employed in the sector. The food industry and retail sector are the biggest users of refrigeration equipment. Chilled ceilings are popular in Germany, with 400 000-500 000 m² added annually. ASERCOM (Association of European Refrigeration Compressor and Controls Manufacturers) predicts that electrical power consumption will shape future trends; 14% of power consumed in Germany is used for cooling and refrigeration, meaning that energy consumption and refrigerant selection are important.