Slight increase in HFC consumption in 2020 in Europe

In 2020, HFC consumption in Europe increased by 7% compared to 2019 but remains in compliance with the requirements of the F-Gas Regulation, according to the European Environment Agency. 

On December 2, 2021, the European Environment Agency published a report on HFC consumption in 2020 in Europe. It does not take into account estimates related to illegal trafficking of refrigerants. 


In 2020, the total supply of fluorinated gases increased slightly (1%) after a continuous decline between 2015 and 2019. Refrigeration and air conditioning remain the sectors requiring the most HFCs. 


HFC consumption increased by 7% between 2019 and 2020, but remains below the requirements of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol by 52%. 


The production of fluorinated gases decreased by 17% in volume and 16% in GWP between 2019 and 2020. Recycled HFCs now account for 11% of virgin HFC production, or 3% of total HFC supply in the European Union. In CO2 equivalent terms, this represents 10 and 4% respectively.  


The available HFC quotas allocated by the F-Gas Regulation have not been fully used to cover the demand. The reserve of quota authorisations, built up during 2015 and 2016, thus continues to grow (+15% year-on-year by the end of 2020). The current size of this reserve accounts for seven times the amount of actual annual equipment imports in 2020 or 111% of the maximum available amount of HFCs for 2021. 


Demand for refrigerants is high due to refrigeration and air-conditioning needs, but companies are turning to HFC-free  or lower GWP alternatives. In 2015, the EU placing of HFCs in bulk was 85% of the maximum quantity and had decreased by 52% in 2020, a faster rate of decline than the maximum quantity itself, which decreased by 45% over the same period.