EPEE, the voice of the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry in Europe had the chance to participate earlier this month in the “Sustainable Energy For All” (SE4ALL) Forum in Lisbon, speaking at a dedicated “Cooling for all” panel discussion. It was an important opportunity for EPEE to demonstrate the key role the industry is playing in day to day lives within our current society, which relies heavily on cooling and refrigeration. But this session also highlighted the huge responsibility lying with our sector, to provide sustainable solutions given the expected market growth in the coming decades, particularly in developing countries. Next to “cooling for all”, the Forum also emphasized the increased urgency for providing clean energy and clean cooking solutions around the world.
Fortunately, the HVACR industry is fully committed to provide sustainable cooling and refrigeration solutions and bringing clean and energy efficient solutions to urban and rural areas of developing countries in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Technologies are readily available to be deployed, helping to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the short, medium and long term. These include for example highly energy efficient equipment, reducing energy demand right from the start, as well as technologies using renewable energies such as heat pumps, and also, often overlooked albeit very effective, continuous monitoring, service and maintenance. More broadly speaking, smart equipment can make a huge contribution to reducing energy demand, for example by helping consumers deal with the fluctuating influx of renewable energies. In parallel, thinking “thermally” rather than only focusing on generation of refrigeration by using electricity, can also be a way to provide sustainable cooling solutions.
On top of these energy efficiency-based solutions, the HVACR industry has also made a strong commitment in the framework of the Kigali amendment, to phase-down the consumption of HFCs on a global level by around 80% in the coming decades. The Amendment introduced under the Montreal Protocol will enter into force as of 1st January 2019 and has already been ratified by more than 30 countries. In the EU, the F-Gas Regulation has already been in place since 2015, also introducing an HFC phase-down of around 80% by 2030. Efforts to reduce HFC consumption on a worldwide level will, according to UN Environment, prevent a rise in global temperature of up to 0.5°C by 2100, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
To help developing countries address the challenges of the Kigali Amendment, EPEE has also partnered with UN Environment and has developed “HFC Outlook”, a dedicated software to model and anticipate HFC phase-down scenarios in conjunction with the phase-out of HCFCs. After a very successful pilot project developed together with the governments of Kuwait and Bahrain, seven more countries have joined the second phase of the pilot to use “HFC Outlook” in their context. The new pilot kicked-off in Paris with a workshop at the beginning of May, and showed once again the commitment and dedication of the HVACR industry to provide concrete, tangible solutions to provide sustainable cooling for present and future generations.