Industry manufacturers’ association EPEE has confirmed its call for a phase-down of HFCs, and the continued sale of pre-charged equipment, in light of the forthcoming European F-Gas review.
Speaking at Chillventa, Andrea Voigt, EPEE director general, said: “EPEE supports a phase-down of HFCs and based on independent studiesboth by the Commission and by SKM Enviros, a phase-down has been identified as being the most cost-efficient measure to achieve the required emission reductions.”
EPEE’s has three key concerns regarding any future regulation on F-Gases in refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment:
HFC bans force the market to use refrigerants which may not be the most energy efficient, safe and economic alternative for a given application. For example, CO2 is not the most energy efficient alternative in commercial refrigeration applications in southern European climate zones.
At the end of the day, bans could therefore lead to an increase in total emissions as energy consumption contributes more than 70 per cent to total emissions.
The heating and cooling sector is extremely divers and refrigerant choice is key as there is no perfect refrigerant. Bans would be technology prescriptive and take away the choice.
HFC bans will also hamper innovation in terms of potential future low GWP blends and refrigerants.
EPEE supports and welcomes a phase-down of HFCs. We call for a realistic and achievable schedule which for example will allow the growth of technologies such as heat pumps and still achieves the required emission reductions.
It also needs to take into account the fact that the use of mildly flammable refrigerants is still very much restricted in many EU member states due to safety regulations and standards in place.
Based on findings from SKM Enviros, EPEE supports an HFC consumption reduction of 30 per cent in 2020 and of 65per cent in 2030, including a re-assessment in 2020.
The setting of the baseline for a phase-down is of course crucial as well. It should be realistic and take into account the development of the market over the past couple of years.
In order to make a phase-down work and achieve the required emission reductions, it is key to take into account pre-charged equipment.
If this is not ensured, loopholes may be created where manufacturers from outside the EU could import pre-charged equipment without restriction.
The way forward to avoid such a situation could be a reporting and quota system where such equipment is included. Banning pre-charging equipment altogether, on the other hand would be a very risky solution for several reasons.
Some examples: it is likely to increase emissionsas factory charging is done in a very controlled environment which cannot be reproduced “in the field”.
It would be detrimental for the export business of EU based factories versus non EU based manufacturers. And it will create unforeseeable situations where market surveillance is virtually impossible.