A short-term solution to help long term lower GWP goals


The transition period of Brexit has now come to an end. Unlike previous quota cuts that have been spread across the whole of the EU. The cut to just 45% of the 2015 baseline for 2021 is the same as the EU cut but, has been based on what was placed on the UK market alone in 2015 - 2019.


When the UK was part of the EU quota system, it didn’t matter where in the EU product went, as long as the total did not exceed quota. In the last few years, the UK has benefited.


Now that the UK has its own quota system this cannot happen anymore, so it is even more crucial that we manage quota restrictions effectively across the different applications. For example, by retrofitting to lower GWP refrigerants in existing systems and whenever possible, installing new equipment that uses the low GWP refrigerant technology.


Covid-19 and the ban on virgin refrigerants with a GWP >2500 had a direct effect on quota demand in 2020. We have certainly all had a lot to contend with over the last year and this has perhaps meant that some conversions or equipment replacements have been put off. But now is the time to pick up momentum again and focus on doing more conversions from high GWP systems before we really feel the effect of the quota tightening up.


In cases where installing new equipment is not possible right away, there are other short-term solutions available using lower GWP refrigerants until the switch can be made.


Reclaimed Refrigerant


Recovered and reclaimed refrigerant will continue to play a key part in helping the industry to meet the F-Gas phase down legislation.


However, it is a limited resource, that requires existing systems to be retrofitted or replaced to create an ongoing supply of reclaimed product.


R-404A replacement will be absolutely key in the next few months, virgin R-404A will surely run short for the applications where it is still allowed whilst R404A-R cannot exceed the amount that comes back for re-processing, so we must focus on retrofitting R-404A systems if there is to be availability of R404A-R for the harder to convert systems.


We do not expect a repeat of the 2017/2018 price and availability issues, if the market is sensible and people don’t panic buy. This was part of the problem which created a demand that wasn’t absolutely necessary causing the producers to react and increase the price. There will undoubtedly be some price increases this year, but if it can be managed in the right way, there should be enough product for everyone.


Interested in the conversion options for R-404A? Watch our Refrigerant Retrofitting webinar here.


By getting a conversion planned in soon, you could minimise the risk of a breakdown with its knock-on effects of unplanned downtime for retrofits or perhaps even not being able to get hold of R404A-R.


Ultimately, all of these systems are going to have to change at some point, so it is better to be in control of the conversion timeline.


With time ticking along and R-448A and R-449A competitively priced against R404A-R, now is an ideal opportunity to get on and retrofit systems. You can get in touch with us here at Climalife UK and we will help you with retrofit support or advice.


For information on new equipment and A2L options, register for our latest webinar which is going to be packed full of useful information here.

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