SPAIN: The Spanish government has approved a plan for €1.5m in aid for the conversion or replacement of supermarket refrigeration systems to alternative low GWP refrigerants.
The subsidies will apply to both new and existing systems and are also designed to encourage the addition of doors to refrigerated cabinets.
The proposal by Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition is designed to aid compliance with the European F-gas regulation which imposes a ban on high GWP refrigerants in new commercial centralised refrigeration systems of 40kW or more from January 1, 2022. The regulation bans the use of refrigerants with a GWP 150 or more, except in the primary circuit of cascade systems where f-gases with a GWP of less than 1500 may be used.
The prohibition only affects new refrigeration facilities and not existing facilities that may continue to operate until the end of their useful life, as well as small-format commercial refrigeration facilities.
Spain acknowledges that its warm climate forces the implementation of more expensive techniques, but says that this “also represents an opportunity for companies to position themselves in leading technologies”.
The scheme will by financed by Spain’s PIMA Cold Environment Promotion Plan, which is fed by income from auctions of carbon credits.
It is estimated that of the 5,000 commercial refrigeration installations in Spain, just over 100 installations, or just 2% of the total, have refrigeration plants that comply with the new regulation. In that respect, €1.5m seems a drop in the ocean.