News

PRIORITY MUST BE GIVEN TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY DURING F-GAS REVIEW

15 November 2020

The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) has consulted its council and members about the F-gas Regulation review. They all consider that the F-gas regulation is a major success and that the EU must continue to apply the quota reduction program and the refrigerants bans as previously decided, until 2030. The IIR stated that this should not be done any faster since priority must now be given to the energy efficiency of equipment and whole systems such as buildings or vehicles. The IIR concluded that faster phase-down would certainly lead to less energy-efficient solutions. In addition, clear and stable regulations are necessary to give confidence and enable intelligent investment planning. The complete IIR press released is at https://iifiir.org/en/news/review-of-f-gas-regulation-iir-contribution

In support of the delivery of the benefits from energy efficiency during the HFC-phase-down, a recent paper “Electricity savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions from global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons” by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) analysed the potential improvements in energy efficiency and associated CO2 emission reductions that can be achieved during the Kigali Amendment HFC phase-down and the transition to lower GWP replacements including HFOs and lower GWP HFCs. The paper notes that the Kigali Amendment (KA) explicitly includes the goal of maintaining and/or enhancing the energy efficiency of equipment. The paper concludes that if carefully addressed during the transition to low-GWP alternatives, improvement potentials for energy efficiency in cooling technologies are extensive and can bring significant electricity savings. When fully implementing the technical potential for energy efficiency improvements, we estimate that compliance with the KA can bring electricity savings that correspond to more than 20% of the world’s entire future electricity consumption. With the energy efficiency improvements limited to the economically profitable applications, electricity savings in cooling could still make up as much as 15% of future electricity consumption.

The IIASA paper also concludes that taking into account potential energy efficiency improvements and compliance with the KA means avoiding between 441 and 631 billion tonnes CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions between 2018 and 2100. About 58% of this cumulative reduction can be attributed to the substitution of HFCs with other low-GWP alternatives, while about 42% can be attributed to electricity savings that derive from the realization of the technical potential to improve energy efficiency in cooling equipment. Hence, significant additional reductions in global warming can be achieved if policymakers, manufacturers, industry, and other stakeholders (consumers, utilities, etc.) address energy efficiency improvements in cooling technology simultaneously with requirements for HFCs substitution.