Status of the EU F-Gas Regulation

The EU Regulation 517/2014 for control of emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases is in force since 2015 and contains application bans for substances, partly based on the GWP value of the substance. The most important tool of the Regulation to lower the total emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases is the phase-down scenario. This timely stepped limitation of the total emission amount in carbon dioxide equivalents is defined for the years 2015 .. 2030. For the year 2022 a revision is intended. See also BITZER document A-510.

Source: EUR-Lex - 32014R0517 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)

Proposal of the Commission 2022-04-05

Dated 2022-04-05 a draft proposal for the revision was published: PC Proposal of Commission. The number of application bans is increased, some definitions adjusted and the phase-down scenario adjusted: It contains values beyond the year 2048 for maximum total emissions and proposes significantly stronger steps down than the current Regulation, already from 2024 on.

Source: EUR-Lex - 52022PC0150 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)

Comparison of the phase-down steps in % of Regulation 517/2014 (in light green), starting at 100% in year 2015, and the phase-down of the proposal (in dark green) from 2024. In light gray: amount in imported products, not included in original base amount.
Comparison of the phase-down steps in % of Regulation 517/2014 (in light green), starting at 100% in year 2015, and the phase-down of the proposal (in dark green) from 2024. In light gray: amount in imported products, not included in original base amount.

According to the evaluation of industry associations, the new phase-down scenario would mean that fluorinated refrigerants with GWP above ca. 10 would only be available for maintenance of already existing systems from 2024 on. It would rather be a phase-out, which it in fact has been called by renowned politicians of the EU already. This is also visible in an estimation of the average GWP values, e.g. assuming similar tonnages of fluorinated refrigerants needed ongoing, see following table.

A strictening of the Regulation was expected. Associations and companies have given their statements to the proposal.

Year

% 517/ 2014

Avg. GWP 517/2014

% Rev. proposal

Avg. GWP proposal

2015

100

2200

 

 

2016

93

2046

2018

63

1386

2021

45

990

2024

31

682

23,6

519

2027

24

528

10

220

2030

21

462

5,2

114

2033

4,8

106

2036

3,8

84

2039

3,5

77

2042

3,1

68

2045

2,7

59

2048

2,4

53

The column "Avg. GWP 517/2014" shows the estimated values for the current Regulation and reaches 462 as average for year 2030. The column "Avg. GWP proposal" shows the estimated values according to the amounts listed in the new proposal. According to this, for the year 2030 only 114 is the average value and from 2048 only 53. By this, the assumption so far, that a GWP value up to 150 is sufficiently low, is no longer valid – not even for 2030. With this phase-down as background, the new application bans and especially the exemptions "where safety standards make it necessary" are in fact not relevant. At the same time, the processing demands for recycling of refrigerants are increased: Cleaning or refurbishment shall become mandatory. Unfortunately, there is little capacity available and new blends have so far not been planned for recycling because of the delicate patent situations. Thus, also here an important part of the amount could be missing. The importance becomes clear to concentrate on developing and constructing refrigeration and heat pump installations with those refrigerants which surely will be long term available (Long-term available refrigerants).