Spain: a EUR 1.5 million plan to help supermarkets comply with the European regulation on fluorinated gas

The Spanish government has approved a plan for €1.5m in aid for the conversion or replacement of supermarket refrigeration systems to alternative low GWP refrigerants.

On September 8, 2018, the Spanish government has approved the Royal Decree 1114/2018 which plans to release EUR 1.5 million to help supermarkets to convert or to replace their refrigeration system in order to comply with the F-gas regulation. This regulation imposes a ban on high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in new commercial centralised refrigeration systems of 40 kW or more from January 1, 2022. It bans the use of refrigerants with a GWP of 150 or more, except the primary circuit of cascade systems where refrigerants with a GWP of less than 1500 may be used.


The purpose of this Royal Decree is to establish the regulatory bases for the direct granting of subsidies for the substitution or the conversion of the refrigeration systems in supermarkets. It is estimated that of the 5,000 commercial refrigeration installations in Spain, just over 100 (2% of the total) have refrigeration plants that comply with the F-gas regulation. The refrigeration facilities that benefit from the subsidies regulated under this decree must meet the following requirements:

  • Refrigeration installations must not contain fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP equal to or greater than 150, except in the primary refrigerant circuits of cascade systems according to the definition of primary refrigerant circuits of the cascade systems established in article 2.38 of Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases and repealing Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 where fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP lower than 1500 may be used.
  • In all cases, 100% of the surface of frozen furniture and 70% of the linear meters of refrigerated furniture that cool at a temperature equal to or lower than 6°C installed in the commercial refrigeration establishment must be closed, either by the installation of doors or covers. Within this percentage of 70%, the linear meters of refrigerated furniture corresponding to the assisted sale of food, as well as autonomous refrigerated furniture, will not be considered.
  • The new installation must have more than 40 kW of installed cooling capacity.

The scheme will be financed by Spain’s PIMA Cold Environment Promotion Plan, which is fed by income from auctions of carbon credits.