Use of lower-GWP f-gases in EU led to small supply rise in 2017

By Charlotte McLaughlin, Dec 21, 2018, 15:43 2 minute reading

updated at: Jan 03, 2019, 12:19

A 3% increase in the quantity of HFCs used by EU industries took place in 2017 prior to a 37% cut in quotas allocated for 2018.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) reported this week that the amount (mass) of f-gases used by European Union industries increased by 3% in 2017 compared to 2016 levels, but the increase was marked by a greater use of lower GWP gases.

This was one of the findings in the EEA’s 'Fluorinated greenhouse gases 2018' report, which measured the quantity of HFCs placed on the market during 2017.
However, the use of HFCs in 2018 is expected to be sharply lower. Under the EU’s F-Gas Regulation, on 1 January 2018, the overall allocated quota of HFCs fell from 93% of the original baseline to just 63%, which led to a price increase for higher-GWP HFCs.
The EEA report said the supply increase, “indicates a move towards gases with lower global warming potential [GWP]” on the part of the HVAC&R industry.
Similarly, imports of f-gases in 2017 also increased compared to 2016 in terms of mass (by 21%), but not as much (i.e. by 8%) in terms of CO2 equivalence (CO2e).
“This much lower increase in terms of CO2e reflects a doubling of HFCs with low global warming potential,” the EEA said.
The report flags the second consecutive year in which the market for HFCs in the EU has increased compared to previous years due to an increase in the use of lower-GWP HFCs.
Overall, the trend since the new EU F-Gas Regulation began to phase down HFC in 2015 has been towards HFC reduction. The use of HFCs in terms of CO2e declined in the EU in 2015 and 2016, after 13 years of continuous increases. The EEA believes this reveals the “EU goal on phase-down of f-gases remains on track”.
The EU is ahead of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which aims to phase down HFC use globally by 80%-85% over the next 17-28 years. “The HFC 'consumption' in 2017, in terms of the Montreal Protocol definition, was 12% below the first limit set for the EU for 2019 under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment,” the report said.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Dec 21, 2018, 15:43

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