Spanish ministry announces sustainable refrigeration subsidy

At ATMOsphere Ibérica in Madrid, the Spanish Environment Ministry announced a new subsidy that can help the HVAC&R sector to implement natural refrigerants. In a keynote speech at the first edition of the ATMOsphere Ibérica conference in Madrid yesterday, Guillermo Martínez from the Spanish Ministry of Environment announced the launch of a new subsidy for sustainable refrigeration. To help industry to move forward, the ministry is introducing a new subsidy programme to help the HVAC&R sector to comply with upcoming HFC phase-down deadlines under the EU’s F-Gas Regulation. Named ‘plan PIMA frío’, the total subsidy pot is €1.5 million and will help to co-finance new installations of sustainable refrigeration systems. The subsidy will provide 15% of the total investment required. To be eligible, the systems will have to use low-GWP refrigerants, have a capacity above 40 kW, and include measures to improve the overall efficiency, such as the use of doors for cabinets under 6°C. “Spain had asked for a derogation to the deadline of 2022 to phase out refrigerant gases above 150 GWP in new commercial refrigeration equipment,” said Martínez. “Even though the European Commission has recognised the specific challenge of Spanish climate conditions, there was no support to the proposed exception. Hence the deadline will apply,” he said, explaining the decision to establish the subsidy now. The Ministry of Environment will shortly submit a draft decision to set up the subsidy to all relevant stakeholders in order to receive their feedback, with a view to making it effective as of 1 January 2018. “We understand that the sector is facing a challenge, and with this new subsidy we would like to provide additional support to facilitate the transition to sustainable refrigeration systems,” Martínez said. He reminded participants that another subsidy, called ‘Proyectos Clima’, is currently available for installations of climate-friendly refrigeration systems. Martínez also gave an overview of new measures to integrate additional requirements for certification of technicians handling fluorinated gases as part of a new regulation on training in the HVAC&R sector. Source: www.r744.com

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