EPEE (European Partnership for Energy and the Environment), benefactor member of the IIR, is currently developing a tool to support the implementation of the European Union F-Gas Regulation: the Gapometer. The new F-gas Regulation, which entered into force in January 2015, aims at cutting the EU’s F-gas emissions by two thirds by 2030 compared with 2014 levels. To help meet these objectives, EPEE Gapometer defined a Roadmap in 2015 to establish the ways to achieve the phase-down, mostly in commercial refrigeration and stationary air conditioning and heat pumps. This Roadmap now allows comparisons with reality, thanks to data gathered to assess the potential “gap” between the objectives and what is feasible.
The Roadmap showed that in new equipment as well as in existing equipment, HFC consumption had to be drastically reduced (by 50% in commercial refrigeration by 2018). High-GWP refrigerants such as R404A and R410A therefore had to be replaced by lower GWP fluids. It also included that safety codes and standards had to evolve to allow the use of these refrigerants. Leak prevention also proved to be important in reducing HFC consumption.
The results collected today from different surveys allow for the verification of the Roadmap’s assumptions and the identification of its weak spots: the percentage of R410A in new small split air conditioner actually diminishes F-gas emissions and follows the previsions of the Gapometer. Nevertheless, market research predictions (dated 2016) estimate that the reduction will move slower in the next years, compared to Roadmap estimates (i.e. reduction by more than 80% in 2022 vs. the market research projection of a reduction of less than 70%). As for retrofits, surveys show that they kick off too slowly compared to the Roadmap.
According to Andrea Voigt, EPEE Director General, “The Gapometer roadmap shows that it is feasible to achieve the phase-down, but it will be very challenging, in particular in 2018 and 2021”.
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