Brussels, 12 October 2016: shecco together with Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament unveiled a new report that evaluates the early effects of the EU F-Gas Regulation.
The new report entitled ‘F-Gas Regulation shaking up the HVAC&R industry’ looks at the impacts that an EU legislative action on HFCs has had in Europe and beyond. The launch of the report comes at a critical time when world leaders are expected to close a deal on phasing down climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) globally at a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
Commissioned by the Greens in the European Parliament, the study provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact on the European industry and evaluates how the European Regulation has influenced other countries and regions in designing their own policies to curb HFCs.
“Often environmental legislation is being seen as harmful to the economy. The opposite is true and this study shows that. Good environmental legislation highlights the path of sustainable growth that industry inevitably needs to take. The EU F-Gas Regulation led to boost in the uptake and improvement of natural alternatives. Moreover, it inspired lawmakers all over the world, with the inclusion of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol as very plausible zenith,” noted Bas Eickhout, Green Member of the European Parliament, who was co-author of the legislation to reduce the use of f-gases.
“Whilst not even two years have passed since the entry into force of the EU F-Gas Regulation, the changes in the industry are noticeable. The impact is expected to get even more pronounced as the adopted measures switch into high gear in the years to come,” said Klara Skacanova, shecco’s deputy manager for market development and lead author of the report. “This report demonstrates that with clear, ambitious and timely regulatory rules, the industry is able to take action and innovate fast,” she added.
Natural refrigerant industry growing
With the aim to depict the size of the market for natural refrigerants, the report collected information on the number of European businesses working with HFC-free technology. The analysis builds on shecco’s research from 2013 and findings show that there are now more than 650 organisations in Europe that manufacture natural refrigerant technologies or offer services related to these systems. While it is not possible to attribute this growth to the F-Gas Regulation in absolute terms, it is clear that the legislation has helped create new green jobs in the industry, with an increased number of companies emerging in Southern Europe.
Number of CO2 transcritical stores has tripled between 2013-2016
The report investigated how the F-Gas Regulation has affected a number of aspects, such as commercial availability of HFC-free equipment, shift in R&D investments, cost of equipment and training & awareness. The findings indicate that the industry is transitioning to natural refrigerants much faster in the sectors where the Regulation has introduced ambitious sector-specific bans on HFCs.
Commercial refrigeration is an example of such a sector. To better illustrate how the legislation has moved the market, shecco collected data on the number of stores using CO2 transcritical technology. Today, these amounts to more than 8,730 stores in the EU, Norway and Switzerland, representing 8% of the European food retail market, which is three times as many stores compared to 2013. The Regulation has given a strong boost to innovation in technologies for warmer climates, with a number of companies introducing HFC-free solutions that have proven to work efficiently in temperatures of up to 45°C.
EU Regulation with global impact
For the State of California in the US, the F-Gas Regulation is “the best existing programme in the world to reduce f-gas emissions”. With regulatory work ongoing, the California Air Resources Board has announced plans to introduce measures that would exceed the ambition of EU’s current legislation.
At an international level, the work that the EU has done domestically serves as a great example of what could possibly be done on a global scale to reduce HFC emissions and thereby avoid 0.5°C of global warming by 2100.
The report is available online here.
For the past 15 years market accelerator shecco has been active in helping bring climate friendly technologies faster to market. shecco supports over 150+ partners worldwide in the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating & cooling technologies using natural refrigerants. shecco offers a variety of services in three areas:
1) media, including online industry platforms, magazines and a catalogue of dedicated research reports;
2) market development, including market research, consultancy and public affairs services, as well as special international projects; and
3) events, including international conferences and national workshops.
Deputy Manager – Market Development