Cooling sector demands inclusion in EU energy policy

By Marie Battesti, May 31, 2017, 15:11 3 minute reading

updated at: Jun 07, 2017, 08:59

On 31 May, shecco and Danfoss held a webinar on sustainable cooling, focusing on the latest developments in European Union (EU) policy and European market trends.

At today’s #WebinarWednesday Danfoss and other industry leaders called for the EU to include them in the wider European Union energy policy.

Cooling calls “for a system-level approach [and means we need to link] cooling to the wider energy system in EU policy” said Ingo Wagner policy manager at Euroheat & Power.

Wagner further explained that cooling is often left out of the public discourse on energy reduction targets as part of a wider sustainability strategy.

[Cooling calls] for a system-level approach [and means we need to link] cooling to the wider energy system in EU policy."
- Ingo Wagner, Euroheat & Power.

We need to ”raise awareness among citizens and energy planners” about the potential of the existing sustainable technology to achieve the European Union environmental targets, he said.

Alix Chambris Energy-efficiency company Danfoss’s Director of EU Public Affairs agreed, urging policy-makers to integrate the cooling and heating sector into the overall EU energy policy framework.

“Cooling is not a luxury”

Chambris explained, “cooling is not a luxury” and is something we use every day.

Wagner believes the EU can take some steps forward by including “cooling related data in statistics, and increase EU research funding for the sector”.

Chambris believes a number of policy trends in the sector will help to make cooling technology competitive, profitable and environment friendly.

Namely the Energy Performance of Building Directives, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive, and Ecodesign and energy labelling Directives.

A key driver for increase energy efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors could be HFC phase down.

“The HFC phase-down of HFC refrigerants from 2015 until 2030 will accelerate investments in refurbishment of existing installations” Chambris added.

Panel discussion in the light of the DecarbHeat Conference

The webinar followed-up on the DecarbHeat conference (11-12 May) organised in Brussels by the European Heat Pump association this month.

Thomas Nowak from EHPA explained the DecarbHeat initiative aimed to show that a 100% decarbonised heating and cooling system in Europe by 2050 can be done, based on available technology.

However, challenges need to be overcome before a real transition is possible.

Christine Weiker, representing the ESCLA explained that EU F-gas regulation is presenting its own difficulties for cold storage companies. “There are specificities for each system, and it is not always as simple to change refrigerants” Weiker said.

She explained that “the sector is rather fragmented”, and the lack of skills and qualifications for technicians to work with alternative cooling technology is a barrier. This is especially true for the cold storage industry in Europe, which counts a lot of family-owned companies.

Alvaro de Oña, Chief Operating Officer at shecco concluded the webinar by explaining the need to change our mindset, in order to seize innovation opportunities. “There used to be one dominant solution, and now, a whole range of refrigerants are suitable for different segments” de Oña said. He took the example of Ammonia, which is "a good solution for high capacity systems“, while “low charge solutions such as hydrocarbons for plug-in units and refrigeration“ work well, he said.

By Marie Battesti

May 31, 2017, 15:11

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