Joint letter on REPowering the EU with a realistic F-gas regulation

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On 30 March 2023, the European Parliament adopted its report on F-gases.

Our cross-industrial coalition – with over 60 signatories – endorses phasing out F-gases, including SF6, which is currently used in grid equipment. However, the European Parliament's chosen method to achieve this goal is misguided and poses a significant risk to the energy transition.

The Parliament’s amendments to the European Commission’s proposal are mostly too restrictive and limit the energy sector's options for electrical equipment so much it will lead to more SF6 use in the medium term. This opposes the very objective of climate protection and GHG reduction.

We need to deploy all the proven SF6-free, eco-efficient technologies to expand the grid costeffectively
and without SF6. Europe needs more grids to connect vast volumes of clean energy to drive the energy transition and power heat pumps and electromobility. There are already several SF6-free grid technologies available today and made in Europe. But no-one will invest
in them if they are prohibited within a decade. This will immediately lead to more use of SF6-based equipment.

We urge the Member States' representatives in the Council to assume responsibility and establish
the following sensible requirements for electrical equipment:
• A single GWP threshold of maximum 1,000 for switchgear of 52kv and above;

• Promote the deployment of grid equipment that has the lowest impact according to a
life cycle assessment;

• Permanently require at least 2 bidders to compete in tendering processes and allow
operators to accommodate for project-specific requirements;

• Take the “contractually assured delivery date” as a point of reference rather than the
“putting into operation”;

• Maintain the leak check requirements from the original proposal by the Commission;

• Prioritize, but do not mandate, the use of reclaimed and recycled SF6 for repairs and
maintenance, based on availability and feasibility.

We also urge the Council to mirror the Parliament’s pragmatic provisions to ensure spare parts are
excluded from the scope of the regulation, be it for expansion, repair, or maintenance.

Finally, we ask the Council to thoroughly clarify and address the above points before further
negotiation in the interinstitutional phase.

For more details on all these points, please consult our joint letter.

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