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F-gas proposals “unrealistic and overly optimistic”

ITALY: The proposed F-gas phase down has been described as unrealistic and overly optimistic, while starving the industry of HFCs for the rollout of the heat pumps.

Speaking at today’s 20th European RACHP Conference in Milan, EPEE director general Russell Patten admitted that a ban on HFCs was no longer the issue. “The issue is ultimately about the transition time and are there alternatives? And I think the crux of the matter is very much how the regulation will be finalised and implemented,” he said.

His concerns are backed by an independent study carried out on behalf of EPEE by consultant, and F-gas expert, Ray Gluckman, which came to very different viewpoints than those in the European Commission’s AnaFgas model.

Patten highlighted just two key points of the independent review: “The cuts proposed by the Commission for 2024, for 2027, for 2030 and for 2033 are unrealistic and are based on overly optimistic assumptions about the rate of technology transition to lower GWP gases and to the quantity of HFCs required for servicing existing equipment. Secondly, with the cuts proposed by the Commission in this period, there would also be insufficient HFCs to help the rollout of the heat pumps. We’re looking at 60 million heat pumps by 2030. Let’s be honest, it’s not going to happen with a little bit of HFCs and it’s about the pragmatism which we need to face.”

It was also claimed that modelling of energy related emissions provided additional insights, which were not available under the AnaFgas model. “In particular, the amount of CO2 emissions avoided through the decarbonisation of heating with heat pumps massively outweighs the small amounts of HFCs emissions from these very same heat pumps.”

Russell Patten emphasised that it was more important to maximise the speed of the heat pump rollout than to force an “unrealistic rate” of refrigerant change. “We are not asking for 10-20 years we are asking for two, three, four years.”

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