EU Cooling Industry Wants More Ambitious F-Gas Regulation, Study Shows

By Franco Sebastián D'Aprile, Nov 17, 2020, 08:35 3 minute reading

Widespread market support seen for more F-gas bans, an accelerated F-gas phase down, and a switch to natural refrigerants.

Download the report for free to find out more.

A new market study by shecco (publisher of this website) has found that the EU’s cooling industry supports a more ambitious F-Gas Regulation, with more sectoral F-gas bans, an accelerated F-Gas phase down, and greater readiness to switch to natural refrigerants. 

The study – “F-Gas Regulation Revision: Industry Wants More Ambition” – is based on a detailed, extensive effort to collect feedback from EU HVAC&R stakeholders to inform the revision of the current European Union (EU) F-Gas Regulation that is now underway. 

The study reached out to top-level industry professionals, including engineers, contractors, manufacturers, academic institutions and end users (among others) active in the EU HVAC&R sector. shecco collected information on the opportunities and challenges related to taking a more ambitious stand in the new F-Gas Regulation revision. 

The 12 sub-sectors covered in the study include: commercial refrigeration (multipack centralized systems and condensing units), transport refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, single-split air-conditioning systems, multi-split/VRF systems, rooftop HVAC systems, chillers (displacement), centrifugal chillers, domestic heat pumps, commercial heat pumps, industrial heat pumps, and mobile air conditioning for buses and/or trains.

The results of the study can be found in this report.

“The findings were overwhelmingly positive, showing a large number of companies are ready to push forward on stricter sectoral bans to make up for the time lost by not being ambitious enough in the previous F-Gas Regulation revision,” said Ilana Koegelenberg, Market Development Manager at shecco and lead author of the report. “We hope that these results will give confidence to the European Commission that the European HVAC&R industry is ambitious and wants further progress in this direction to help play an active role in making Europe climate neutral by 2050.”

Further F-gas bans wanted

The study found that 87% of participants believe that “increasing the ambition of the F-Gas Regulation through further bans, a more ambitious phase down, and strong measures to combat illegal trade should be an essential component of the EU’s 2030 climate ambition strategy.” 

In addition, 77% of respondents were in favor of an accelerated phase-down schedule, given the current state of development of natural-refrigerant alternative technologies. 

The study also showed overwhelming support for more ambitious sectoral bans for sub-sectors already mentioned in the F-Gas Regulation, as well as for the introduction of bans for sub-sectors previously not included. 

The majority of responses indicated readiness of the HVAC&R industry to switch over completely to natural refrigerants. In 12 out of the 12 sub-sectors reviewed, the majority of survey respondents indicated support of a full ban on new HFC-based products by 2024. Natural refrigerants were also shown to be the refrigerant of choice in 11 of the 12 sub-sectors surveyed.

The survey results highlighted how a lack of sectoral bans (or a lack of more ambitious sectoral bans) has had a negative impact on the sector’s ability to develop alternative, climate-friendly solutions. The majority of respondents also said the lack of bans negatively impacted the uptake of these alternative solutions, as well as their price competitiveness.

The study includes input from 125 individuals at more than 80 companies active in the EU. It is important to note that the study was open to the entire industry, not just companies working with natural refrigerants. Input was collected predominantly from personal correspondence with stakeholders, as well as a comprehensive industry survey that featured more than 160 questions.

This survey, co-funded by shecco and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), was shared globally through various marketing campaigns and social media outreach activities to ensure equal opportunity to participate. Input was accepted from around the world, with the only limitation being that the company should be actively doing business in the EU.

The report dives into the details of the current F-Gas Regulation to highlight how it can be strengthened to close loopholes to the advantage of the industry, the economy, and the climate as a whole. To that end, it covers topics such as training, incentive schemes, illegal trade and reclamation.

shecco plans to continue monitoring market readiness on an ongoing basis to help guide policymakers throughout the F-Gas revision.

Download the report

By Franco Sebastián D'Aprile

Nov 17, 2020, 08:35

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