Sweden rejects F-gas exemption request

Sweden rejects F-gas exemption request

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has turned down a request from the country’s heat pump association for exemption from the F-gas quota system.

The association Svenska Kyl & Värmepumpföreningen (SKVP) sent a letter to the Swedish EPA in February arguing that high refrigerant prices and shortages would impact European environmental targets. Claiming to be in a “vulnerable” situation, the SKVP asked that the heat pump industry be given reasonable time for conversion to alternative low GWP refrigerants.

The association requested an exemption under Article 15.4 of the F-gas Regulation EU 517/2014, which allows an exemption from the quota for up to four years for applications, products or equipment, where alternatives are not available, or cannot be used for technical or safety reasons and/or where a sufficient supply of HFCs cannot be ensured without entailing disproportionate costs.

In rejecting the request, the Swedish EPA argues that the refrigerant price increases are in line with the intentions of the regulation to drive the development of lower GWP alternatives.

“The specific data on price increases, etc, that have been submitted are generally held and are therefore not sufficient to justify submitting the application to the EU Commission,” the Swedish EPA writes in its reply.

It also observes that no similar requests have been made by other European industry organisations, but an exemption would cover all the companies in Europe. The SKVP, it said was not mandated to represent all relevant companies in Europe.

The SKVP has not yet decided whether it will appeal the decision. “We have just received the message and need to first settle down and analyse the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s response before we can assess how we choose to proceed with the case,” said SKVP CEO Per Jonasson. “However, I would like to emphasise that the need for exceptions, as we formulated it, to our greatest extent remains,” he added.