L'efficacité énergétique à l'ordre du jour des discussions lors des réunions du Protocole de Montréal à Vienne (en anglais)

Focus sur l'atelier sur «les opportunités d'efficacité énergétique tout en éliminant progressivement les hydrofluorocarbures (HFC)» qui a précédé la 40ème réunion du Groupe de travail à composition non limitée des Parties au Protocole de Montréal sur les substances qui appauvrissent la couche d'ozone (OEWG40).

The 40th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG40) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer took place on July 11-14, 2018 in the United Nations office at Vienna, Austria. It was preceded by a fruitful workshop on "the energy efficiency opportunities while phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)" on July 9-10.

This workshop set the stage for numerous presentations and discussions between experts from parties and various organizations, including the IIR, which was represented by Jean-Luc Dupont, Head of the IIR Scientific and Technical Information Department.

The discussions focused on the technical opportunities to improve energy efficiency in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat-pump (RACHP) sectors and the investment, financial and policy actions that can encourage energy efficiency improvements in RACHP systems while phasing down use of HFCs. They revolved around three Briefing Notes prepared by UN Environment as background on these topics.

All participants higlighted the importance of energy efficiency in the RACHP sector. In its Briefing Note A1, UN environment stresses that 71% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the refrigeration sector are due to indirect emissions from electricity generated to power RACHP equipment, and 29% to direct (refrigerant) emissions. Moreover, in 2014, RACHP equipment was responsible for just over 7% of global GHG emissions. These assessments are consistent with the IIR figures published in November 20172.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) representative highlighted that the global demand for air conditioning is set to soar and that the easiest, fastest and most effective action is to ensure all new air conditioners are very efficient. More efficient ACs could cut CO2 emissions from space cooling in half and, combined with decarbonised power sources, could radically reduce overall emissions.

To maximise efficiency, designers and end-users should apply a holistic approach that includes selection of appropriate equipment with high efficiency cycles and suitable controls (potential savings of 30-70%), minimizing cooling loads (30-60%), ensuring good installation, operating and maintenance practices (15-30%), and appropriate refrigerant selection (5-10%)1.

Many of the available energy efficiency improvements create positive financial returns for the end user. Over the life of the equipment, the cost of energy can be around five times the original capital cost.

Unfortunately, as underlined by UN environment in its Briefing Note C3, many barriers are slowing the uptake of high energy-efficiency RACHP systems: information barriers, financial barriers, misaligned incentives, behavourial barriers and governance barriers1.

However, achieving greater efficiency can be greatly facilitated by policy measures: regulations such as minimum energy performance standards, information such as labels and training courses, and incentives such as subsidies and tax rebates. These tools can be more effective when developed in concert with other energy policies.

Beyond policy intervention, research, development, deployment and diffusion (RDD&D) play a crucial role in the improvement of efficiency and low-carbon technologies.

Presentations delivered during the workshop are available here.

Several other side events and meetings took place in Vienna, including:

  • The side event “New Carbon Metrics”, during which was presented a new LCCP-based method to estimate the combined carbon savings of transitioning to super-efficient air conditioners, which use lower-GWP refrigerants and are tailored to the local climate and local carbon intensity of electricity. Yunho Hwang, President of the former IIR working group “Life Cycle Climate Performance Evaluation” is involved in this project.
  • A meeting on the “Cold chain modelling database” gave the various representatives of GFCCC (Global Food Cold Chain Council), IIR, IEA and UN Environment OzonAction the opportunity to present their different initiatives regarding the modelling of the global food cold chain and its impact on energy consumption, food loss reduction and related direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. All stakeholders agreed on close cooperation between their organizations on this essential topic.

The 30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol will take place on November 5-9 in Cumbayá, Quito, Ecuador

1 UN environment, Briefing Note A: The Importance of Energy Efficiency in the Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pump Sectors. 

2 35th Informatory Note on Refrigeration Technologies “The impact of the refrigeration sector on climate change”, Summary for Policymakers, November 2017

3 UN Environment, Briefing Note C: Delivering More Efficient Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pumps: Policy, Financing and Investment