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BRIEF REVIEW OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO FLUOROCARBONS IN 2019 …and CHALLENGES FOR 2020

BRIEF REVIEW OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS RELATING TO FLUOROCARBONS IN 2019 …and CHALLENGES FOR 2020

16.12.2019

Everyone is busy at this time of year, so instead of a regular newsletter here is EFCTC’s brief review of the 3 challenges identified for 2019, 7 positive developments relating to fluorocarbons during 2019 and 3 challenges for 2020.

Review of the 2019 challenges to ensure the F-Gas Regulation is effective:

  • Maintaining a focus on illegal imports of HFCs by the authorities and industry, as a whole- A positive start by all to identify, detect, prevent, penalise and prosecute – see dedicated section on the EFCTC website -Illegal Trade of HFCs and the Action line for reporting illicit products and trade.
  • Supporting the recycling and destruction of refrigerants by addressing, where practicable, the barriers that currently exist – Reclaimed HFCs accounted for 2% of supply in 2017 (the latest data available) with a steady increase from 2014, a highlight in 2019 is the use of reclaimed HFCs in new air-conditioning systems, but handling of recovery cylinders needs to improve according to one report. Recycled refrigerant use will be much higher due to mandatory servicing requirements.
  • Making sure plans are fully in place for the use and placing on the market bans for refrigerants with GWP >2500 – Retrofit of R-404A systems continues using lower GWP non-flammable refrigerants and, where appropriate for new systems, A2L refrigerants are widely available with extensive trade association guidance.

 

7 Positive Developments for fluorocarbons during 2019 and complementary to the drive to improve energy efficiency.

  • Average GWP of HFCs and HFOs placed on the market continues to fall and EU HFC emissions decrease. Source and EEA report on emissions and supply of F-Gases 2019.
  • HFOs accounted for 13% of the total HFCs/HFOs by weight placed on the EU market in 2017 (the latest data available), a significant increase from about 1% in 2014. Source.
  • Low GWP <300 A2L HFO/HFC refrigerants used for commercial refrigeration systems in some supermarkets are offering cost environmental and performance benefits. Source.
  • The contribution to acidification in the EU from HFCs, HFOs and HCFOs for a worst-case scenario due to their breakdown in the atmosphere is estimated at <0.5% of the total due to SO2, NOx, NH3 in 2016 and 2030. Source DOI: 10.4236/ojap.2019.84004
  • Increased adoption of heat pumps will help to decarbonise heating. The majority of heat pumps use fluorinated hydrocarbons with R-410A being most widely used currently, but lower GWP HFC-32, HFO/HFC blends and HFOs are all being used in the wider adoption of heat pumps. Source.
  • Globally, only marginal increases are projected for CO2-eq emissions of the low-GWP alternatives including HFOs, despite substantial projected increases in their emission mass. Source.
  • Chillers increasingly use lower GWP refrigerants, including HFOs, HCFOs, HFO based refrigerants and HFC/HFO blends, providing appropriate safety and performance properties. Source.

 

And 3 challenges for 2020- to ensure the F-Gas Regulation is effective by:

  • More clearly quantify the illegal trade in HFCs, their import routes and methods to ensure efforts are targeted appropriately.
  • Increase the uptake of lower GWP refrigerants in preparation for the HFC phase-down reduction from 2021 (63% reducing to 45%).
  • Making sure plans are put in place for the placing on the market ban from 1 Jan 2022 for refrigerants in new multipack centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use (<150 GWP except in the primary circuit of cascade systems where <1500 GWP applies).

 

2020 – another interesting year expected!

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