German concern over ENVI F-gas report
GERMANY: Industry groups in Germany have warned that F-gas amendments proposed by the European parliament’s environment committee would jeopardise existing systems and put climate policy goals at risk.
A number of German refrigeration and air conditioning associations have written to the European parliament’s committee on environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) calling for the rejection of several of the amendments.
The groups – contractors body VDKF, the federal guild BIV, refrigeration and air conditioning heat pumps association ZVKKW and the Bundesfachschule Kälte-Klima-Technik training organisation – say that while the EU Commission’s proposed amendment was viewed by many as a threat to the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, the ENVI committee “is once again tightening the thumbscrews” – especially as far as the bans are concerned.
The ENVI proposal, published in October, provides for, among other things, a general ban on placing stationary refrigeration systems with F-gases on the market from 2025 onwards. It also seeks a general ban on the placing on the market of single split air conditioners and heat pumps with F-gases from 2026, of split air-conditioners and split heat pumps with F-gases with a rated output of up to 12kW from 2027, as well as a ban on F-gases with a GWP >150 in these plants with a nominal output above 12kW up to 200kW from 2028.
There are similarly rigid ENVI requirements for maintenance and service. From 2024, a ban on the use of F-gases with a GWP >150 for maintenance and service on stationary refrigeration systems (with the exception of chillers) is planned; in the case of air conditioning systems, heat pumps and chillers, this ban applies to F-gases with a GWP >2500. This would also apply to recycled refrigerants.
The organisations have said that they welcome the goals of the F-gas regulation and support the gradual reduction of fluorinated refrigerants and the priority use of natural refrigerants wherever it is technically possible and makes sense from an energy perspective.
However, they confess to being “extremely concerned” about the wording of the ENVI proposals, which, they say, neither the operators of the millions of existing refrigeration and air conditioning systems nor the installers can implement.
Should the ENVI proposal be implemented as it stands, the groups claim that the operation of countless refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems in systemically important sectors of the economy would be at risk and system operators saddled with an unplanned high investment in difficult economic times.
From an environmental standpoint, the groups echo the concerns of other European industry bodies that the proposals would put climate policy goals at risk.
Germany, with its great many refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump manufacturers, would be disproportionally affected.
The German organisations are therefore calling for the rejection of several ENVI amendments, specifically a further drastic reduction in quotas and bans on the use of F-gases for service and maintenance on refrigeration systems.
F-gas proposals would impact EU climate targets – 9 November 2022
EUROPE: Industry groups from Europe and Japan have condemned F-gas amendments proposed by lead rapporteur Bas Eickhout, saying they would jeopardise the wider EU climate and energy targets. Read more…
F-gas revision may need “balance” on heat pumps – 8 November 2022
EUROPE: The EU environmental committee rapporteur has urged industry to move to natural alternative refrigerants as quickly as possible but recognises that a “balance” may be required on heat pumps. Read more…
All-propane heat pumps by 2027 “impossible” – 30 October 2022
BELGIUM: European industry group EPEE has called for a realistic HFC phase down in order to meet EU plans to move away from fossil fuels. Read more…
F-gas proposals risk equipment safety and efficiency – 27 August 2022
BELGIUM: AREA has warned that failing to ensure that only competent contractors can work with alternative refrigerants risks widespread safety hazards and inefficient equipment. Read more…
F-gas proposals “unrealistic” – 26 June 2022
EUROPE: EPEE claims that the proposed revisions to the European F-gas regulation will seriously impact the necessary accelerated heat pump roll out and jeopardise the EU’s REPowerEU objectives. Read more…
Industry calls for rethink on F-gas proposals – 5 April 2022
BELGIUM: Industry groups have been quick to voice concerns that the EC’s F-gas revision proposal contains “worrying” equipment prohibitions and an “unsustainable” phase-down that risk undermining its own environmental goals. Read more…
EC proposes steep HFC cuts and usage bans – 5 April 2022
EUROPE: The European air conditioning and refrigeration industry could face stringent cuts in HFC refrigerants and bans on common AC refrigerants in new EC proposals to strengthen the F-gas regulation. Read more…
F-gas quota cuts will hit heat pump ambitions – 15 March 2022
BELGIUM: The leading European associations have called on the European Commission to rethink its accelerated HFC phase down proposals or risk jeopardising the switch to heat pumps. Read more…