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F-gas bans not technically feasible

BELGIUM: Leading European home appliance manufacturers have restated that the proposed F-gas bans would not be technically feasible for all applications.

The Brussels-based association APPLiA has repeated warnings that the proposals would impact heat pump installations, endangering the EU’s REPowerEU plan and jeopardising its broader climate and energy security goals.

APPLiA represents 25 of the most well-known home appliance manufacturers, like Ariston, Philips and Electrolux, as well as heat pump manufacturers Daikin, DeLonghi, Groupe Atlantic, Haier, LG, Midea, Panasonic and Samsung.

The association points out that F-gas refrigerants are instrumental to the functioning of heat pumps: “With the proposed bans, the almost 30 thousands different models of equipment currently present on the European market, would have to suddenly rely on natural refrigerant alternatives.”

Director general of APPLiA Paolo Falcioni reasons that this transition involves the adaptation of production processes, but also the training of installers, as well as “considerations on the safety and overall energy efficiency” of these solutions. All would have an impact on the affordability of products, he argues.

While the latest revision proposals voted on by the ENVI Committee make a number of concessions to the concerns of the heat pump industry, APPLiA rejects the amendment for an annual review of the impact of the HFC quota phase-down on the EU heat pump market. Falcioni insists that this is “not a conclusive solution” and would “seriously obstruct” industry’s ability to conduct medium- and long-term planning. 

APPLiA admits that the industry is already using alternative refrigerants for some applications, but insists that a full-fledged ban on F-gas would not be technically feasible for all applications as “it would leave the market with no possibility to meet consumers’ demand for renewables”, explained Falcioni. 

“A diversity of fluorinated and non-fluorinated solutions is needed to fit the wide variety of applications for both the EU and export markets. The sector is already investing in cleaner technologies using lower GWP refrigerants and designing highly energy-efficient products that are good for the environment and for the wallet,” APPLiA says. “Developing new products using new solutions requires finding real alternatives, striking a fair and secure balance for all.”

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