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!