Significant energy savings can be delivered by combining energy-efficient appliances with natural refrigerants, heard participants in a GIZ seminar on Friday.
“Significant efficiency and energy savings are possible by combining energy-efficient appliances with natural refrigerants. We’ve been preaching this all over the world for over 20 years,” said Bernhard Siegele, programme manager of GIZ Proklima, which has implemented some 200 projects in 40 countries worldwide since its foundation in 1995.
GIZ Proklima is a programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ for short), a German development agency headquartered in Bonn and Eschborn that provides services in the field of international development cooperation.
Natural refrigerants ‘gaining credibility’
“Natural refrigerants are gaining credibility in the Montreal Protocol arena. Parties are becoming increasingly annoyed with moving from one generation of f-gases to the next,” argued Siegele, speaking at a seminar organised by GIZ on Friday at its offices in Eschborn, near Frankfurt.
GIZ aims to improve working conditions for HVAC&R technicians in the world’s poorest countries by offering training courses on safer handling of equipment. To date, it has trained 600,000 trainers and technicians.
“Natural refrigerants are gaining credibility in the Montreal Protocol arena. Parties are becoming increasingly annoyed with moving from one generation of f-gases to the next.”
– Bernhard Siegele, GIZ Proklima
The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects to see demand for air-conditioners grow by USD 200 billion by 2050.
70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2030. Up to 40% of the electricity consumed in urban areas goes on cooling.
HFCs: ‘the world’s fastest-growing non-CO2 greenhouse gas’
“HFCs are the world’s fastest-growing non-CO2 greenhouse gas. Without international control, continued growth of HFCs will be responsible for 0.1°C of global temperature rise in 2050” and a potential increase of up to 0.5°C by 2100, Siegele said.
In the world’s poorest households, the refrigerator can represent up to 80% of the energy bill. Indeed, refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment already rank alongside lighting and television among the biggest investments made by poor families.
Siegele cited market readiness as a replacement for R22, good energy performance, low GWP, no persistent waste, low costs and ease of local production among the benefits of natural refrigerants.
Among the biggest drivers of technology change, he mentioned the HFC phase-downs taking place under the Montreal Protocol and the EU F-Gas Regulation and minimum energy performance standards in place in different legislations worldwide.
Siegele cited lack of market acceptance of natural refrigerant-based technologies in certain developing countries, the need to incorporate energy efficiency into Montreal Protocol processes, and the need to put in place a training infrastructure for technicians worldwide among the biggest barriers to wider uptake.