REPowering the EU with a realistic F-gas regulation
On 5 April 2022, the European Commission made a legislative proposal to revise the F-Gas Regulation in line with the European Green Deal, the European Climate Law and recent international obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
Europe’s power industries fully embrace the European Commission’s decarbonisation objectives and its ambition to cut F-gas related emissions as a step towards climate neutrality. We are committed to adopting a sustainable approach in our activities and support the phasing out of SF6-based technologies in the EU’s power grid.
The SF6 phase-out must be done in a timely and realistic manner to ensure the crucial safety and reliability of the power grid. When available, we are committed to using SF6-free equipment for new installations and to replacing the equipment in existing installations with SF6-free solutions when those reach the end of their operational life.
At the same time Europe needs a rapid and continuous expansion of its electricity networks to deliver its decarbonisation objectives. By 2030 the EU already needs to have installed and connected 750 GW of wind and solar capacity. To ensure the timely deployment of switchgears and other necessary grid equipment, technologies should be made available on the market in sufficient numbers and with certainty for each voltage level.
The F-gas regulation should therefore focus on promoting the deployment of new technologies in new projects, while allowing existing equipment to continue to operate until the end of its useful life. Premature dismantling due to maintenance, servicing, or repair stop-dates and retro-active requirements for existing installed equipment will cause significant bottlenecks in supply disruption and lead to delays in the roll-out of decarbonised heating, transport, and renewables.
Any retroactive measure on existing installations will negatively affect the future deployment of renewable electricity generation. This will make it harder to achieve climate neutrality in time. Therefore, we must ensure that the measures required to phase out SF6-based equipment complement the EU’s climate and energy ambitions and do not jeopardise current DSO operations, risk the security of supply nor delay the planned connection of new generation assets.