EUROPE: Leading groups representing the HVAC, refrigeration and foam insulation sectors are calling on the European Parliament to take a practical approach in the upcoming vote on the F-gas revision.
The alliance of 11 associations, which includes EPEE, the European Heat Pump Association, ASERCOM and Transfrigoroute, says it is offering “several concrete and ambitious amendment proposals” of its own for the F-gas regulation revision.
These proposals include an easing of the phase down and a relaxation of some of the product bans.
“We as an alliance recognised the need to offer our expertise and industry knowledge to ensure Europe’s carbon neutrality goals are not derailed by a well-meaning but ineffective regulation,” said Russell Patten, director general of the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE).
“In regard to the Commission’s proposed F-gases phase down, the alliance recommends retabling the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) opinion amendment 75 to allow for sufficient amounts for new heat pump installations, maintenance of existing stock of equipment and exports.”
The ITRE opinion amendment 75 tables a less severe phase down in the early years to 2032.
The alliance claims the ENVI Committee’s proposed phase down “will stifle the roll-out of new energy efficient and renewable-based equipment – in particular, heat pumps.”
It argues that a too-steep phase down will result in not enough HFCs being available for new heat pump installations, which will be required depending upon the location and national safety requirements.
The group also rejects the ENVI committee proposal to allow the quota to be reviewed annually in respect of the needs of the heat pump industry.
“We appreciate ENVI recognised the risk to achieving REPowerEU targets, but we do not believe it can be solved by shifting the responsibility to the EU Commission to assess heat pump needs on a yearly basis and to add quota if required,” the group maintains. It insists that industry, including the component supply chain, needs a stable and reliable legislative framework to allow for medium- and long-term planning.
“Heat pumps are a critical component of the REPowerEU plan, but they require fluorinated and non-fluorinated refrigerants depending on their type, size, localisations, national requirements and consumer needs. The Commission’s proposal limits HFCs to an extent that would make it impossible to deliver the heat pumps required to meet our energy security goals,” said Patten.
He also added that the environment committee’s proposal to adjust the phase down on an annual basis “would seriously obstruct industry’s ability to conduct medium- and long-term planning”.
”A heat pump manufacturer cannot start qualifying new units without compressors. Compressor manufacturers easily need a time frame of 3-5 years for the final marketability of compressor series that are needed,” added ASERCOM president Marco Masini. “The heat pump manufacturer conducts at least one laboratory test plus one field test, ie a full winter season for each model. This means that another 3-5 years will pass before a complete heat pump product line with natural refrigerants can be available.”
For product bans, the alliance made specific suggested amendments which it says “better reflect granularity and variety” of technologies. This involves rolling back many of the bans, some to 2028 or later.
“We have analysed thousands of data sets and many findings around technical feasibility and technnological advancement in the HVAC&R industry,” commented ASERCOM president Marco Masini. “Now we are counting on the EU parliament to use this science-based foundation to make decisions that effectively advance the decarbonisation of Europe.”
The alliance also calls for a revision to restrictions included in the Commission plan, which would otherwise discourage the repair of existing equipment and lead to premature obsolescence and costs for small businesses and consumers.
The alliances full industry amendment proposals can be found here.
The alliance comprises:
APPLiA: Home Appliance Europe represents home appliance manufacturers from across Europe.
AREA: the European association of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) contractors.
ASERCOM: the Association of European Component Manufacturers.
EPFA: the European Phenolic Foam Association.
EFCTC: The European FluoroCarbons Technical Committee is a Cefic Sector Group comprising the major HFC/HFO manufacturers
EHPA: the European Heat Pump Association.
EPEE: represents the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe.
Eurovent: Europe’s industry association for indoor climate (hvac), process cooling, and food cold chain technologies.
JBCE: the Japan Business Council in Europe representing the interests of about 100 multinational Japanese companies
PU Europe: the voice of European voice of the polyurethane (PUR / PIR) insulation industry.
Transfrigoroute International: the specialist independent umbrella association for the European temperature-controlled road transport industry.
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